With up to Sh1 trillion allocated to the country’s 47 counties, the plunder of the billions continues to be reported even as the nation prepares for the second General Election under the current Constitution.
The auditor early this week published audit reports for 37 counties, leaving a few from the central region.
The latest report by the Auditor-General has delivered bleak results in the spending of devolution resources, with blatant theft of billions exposed.
In Nairobi County, the auditor has reported that some Sh12.7 million collected from off street parking cannot be accounted for.
“Although the automation was meant to make work easier and revenue collection more manageable, it was observed that the system was always down and the frequent breakdowns could not be justified,” the report by Auditor-General Edward Ouko says.
According to the Auditor-General’s report, the county government automated three off street parking lots with 72, 222 and 36 parking slots.
The report also reveals that the Nairobi county government lost Sh8.9 million after awarding a contract for the renovation and extension of the county secretary’s residence, which was not done.
A total of Sh147.4 million spent on the purchase of motor vehicles and other equipment cannot be accounted for as payment vouchers and procurement processes followed were not provided.
The audit also raised concerns over the effectiveness of the electronic system, Ejiji Pay, which collects revenue on behalf of the county.
In the latest 2014/2015 report, Jambo Pay is on the spot, with Nairobi County being accused of a weak internal control on revenue collected as it entirely relies on Jambo Pay.
According to the Auditor-General, Jambo Pay has continuously failed to remit funds in time, despite having stated in the contract that the money collected would be deposited in 72 hours.
In Mombasa, the auditor has flagged the suspicious operation of 22 bank accounts by the county government.
“As at the time of this audit, 22 bank accounts with a balance of Sh193 million had not been closed and neither were the respective bank accounts reconciliation statements provided,” Mr Ouko revealed.
The report also queries Sh60 million awarded for the construction of eight roads, arguing that the move was irregular.
The auditor further questions why Sh165 million out of Sh366 million local revenue collected through partnerships between a local firm and a commercial bank was never banked.
Mr Ouko’s report questions the spending of 25 million on scholarships for 68 students in various universities in India.
“It was observed that the total budget provision for India sponsorship was not provided for verification. The management failed to provide guidelines and policy documents for students sponsored (to study) abroad,” said the report.
Contracts awarded to five companies including Randley Contractors, Alastro Enterprise, Marine Contractors, Morazu Company by the Kwale County Government, all valued at Sh19 million, were also questioned.
Kwale, said the audit report, also spent Sh14 million on hiring taxis but no contracts were provided to show evidence of expenditure.
In Homa Bay, Mr Ouko questioned a Sh342.8 million variance in the purchase of goods and services as well as a Sh6.8 million difference in the payment of employees.
The audit report said that the county had omitted Sh26.4 million imprests in its documents when the audit was done.
In the period under review, the Auditor-General says, the county paid out Sh123 million to a contractor and a consultant for the construction of Kadongo-Gendia Road even before the two were declared non-performing and the contract terminated.
Similarly, the county paid Sh5.7 million for the maintenance of two roads (Nyalkini-Imbo and Omoya-Pineapple) for work that was never done, said the Auditor-General.
Mr Ouko also questioned a Sh4.9 million payment for VIP toilets and changing rooms at the Homa Bay Stadium whose construction was still ongoing, six months after its supposed completion date.
In Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s Kakamega County, Mr Ouko questioned the use of Sh133 million for travel and transport expenditures which were not itemised, as well as Sh200 million given to Mumias Sugar farmers whose distribution the auditor says could not be verified.
Mr Ouko also questioned the late payment of the Sh2,000 given to new mothers six times in 18 months under the Oparanyacare programme yet the funds had been appropriated.
“At the time of this audit in December 2015, Sh17.87 million was due and payable to over 16,145 mothers,” says Mr Ouko.
Report by PatricK Lang’at, Isaac Ongiri, Lilian Mutavi and Faith Nyamai.