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Audit report shows massive losses of taxpayers’ money in central counties

The report shows irregularly paid leave allowances, duplicated revenue receipts leading to loss of millions, and payments for billions worth of projects that were either not viable or incomplete.

Nyeri County paid Sh30 million to all its staff as leave allowance between December 2014 and February 2015 with no leave forms signed and in what the report said was untenable.

An audit report has shown massive losses of taxpayers’ money in central Kenya counties, similarly to other devolved units in the country.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko questioned the purchase of medical equipment worth Sh25 million that were still lying idle due to “lack of reagents to operate it and lack of suitable space for its installation.”

Similarly, he said the purchase of Sh472 million supplies for Othaya Sub-county hospital from the Ministry of Health was ill-advised as the hospital was still under construction.

No evidence

Out of the supplies kept at Kemsa-Nyeri offices and a constituency hall, a total of Sh12.6 million were unavailable.

In the period under review, Mr Ouko said, Nyeri County entered into a Sh15.8 million agreement with the Kenya Red Cross for disaster management response, yet budgeted other funds for the same purpose and there was no evidence that the humanitarian organisation delivered.

CONSULTANCY CONTRACT

The auditor also questioned a Sh28 million consultancy contract with Jkuat Enterprises to review the coffee situation that he says had no findings and whose figures were “exaggerated and uneconomical.”

In the deal, the organisation was paid Sh22.5 million as professional fees, Sh3.98 million as per diems, and Sh3.6 million as local taxes.

In Governor William Kabogo’s Kiambu, Mr Ouko said that the county duplicated Sh359 million worth of receipts, most of them in Thika Sub-county, leading to massive losses. The auditor-general flagged a Sh328 million variance in the total payroll figures and those the county claimed it paid out, a Sh26.8 million variance in the purchase of various goods and services and Sh149 million that was re-allocated to projects that were not budgeted for.

He noted that the county had 30,053 properties, some in prime plots, which were valued at zero shillings hence attracting no land rates at a time when the county had accumulated uncollected rates of Sh2.652 billion.

Further, the county had 413 houses from which it had Sh78 million of uncollected rent.

In Murang’a, under Governor Mwangi wa Iria, the audit found 711 duplicated receipts worth Sh6.58 million and 28 that was marked “zero” revenue.

IRRIGATION PLANT

Mr Ouko questioned a Sh218 million irrigation plant in Kimathi/Githuri that he said was prone to bursting each time the water rises, showing a possibility of poor workmanship similarly to Sh539 spent on roads with the drainage system remaining poor.

Mr Ouko said that there were cases of nine employees that irregularly received double salaries amounting to Sh2.4 million.

The auditor-general flagged the construction of the Sh250.82 million Maragua milk processing plant that was still incomplete 10 months after its expected opening date.

Kirinyaga county government came on the spot over the payment of employees outside the payroll system and double payment of employees.

According to Mr Ouko the county spend Sh220 million to pay 362 staff outside the system.

The staff included early child hood teachers, Youth polytechnic instructors, ESP staff, clinical officers and doctors of the defunct council.

“The salaries paid outside the payroll may not be included in the financial statements, further payment of staff outside the payroll distorts the determination of the national wage bill which is crucial for planning purposes by the National government,” said Mr Ouko.

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