Auditor-General denies allegations

Auditor-General Edward Ouko on Tuesday evening denied claims that he accumulated a Sh1 million phone bill on his iPad and that he has five cars allocated to him.

Mr Ouko often sounded emotionally fraught as he batted away the allegations contained in a petition by advocate Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah, who had met the Finance Committee earlier in the day.

“I am a stranger to the allegations on the issue of the Sh1 million iPad bill,” said Mr Ouko.

The bill had been reported to have been incurred in 2014 as a result of the Auditor-General having to manage his office remotely because he was frequently away on private trips abroad disguised as official ones.

On this, he said, “Personally, all the trips I have undertaken are official.”

On the claim about the cars, Mr Ouko said he has been allocated two Mercedes Benz as his official cars. One is old and the other relatively new and both have private number plates. He said this is for security reasons as his is a sensitive job.

Mr Mwagonah had claimed that Mr Ouko is assigned five cars – two Mercedes Benz, a Toyota Land Cruiser VX, a Volkswagen Passat and a Nissan Patrol – and the daughter and the wife use one vehicle each from these.

Mr Ouko also denied the claim that he has presided over skewed and nepotistic employment that has resulted in many senior and new positions being filled by members of his Luo community.

“Questions of recruitment and employment within the Office of the Auditor General are handled by the Deputy Auditor General Corporate Services through the Human Resource Department,” said Mr Ouko.

He said he would not be the right persons whom to direct any and all questions of propriety on any employment.

“I am however aware that the office has observed diversity and incorporates 23 ethnicities in its 1,273 employment workforce. Of this, the highest representation are of Kikuyu extraction at 408, representing 32.05 per cent of the total workforce,” said Mr Ouko.

He attached as proof a breakdown of the statistics of employees at the Kenya National Audit Office as at February this year.

Mr Mwagonah is by midday today expected to submit evidence of his claims about the skewed employment.

He had claimed that as a result of a collaboration between Mr Ouko and the Director of Human Resource, the schemes of service at the Office of the Auditor-General had been ignored and officers in the administration and human resource are largely from the Luo community.

He claimed that during the period 2010-September 2015, a total 304 people had been employed and that of these, 104 were Audit Associates of whom 62 were from the Luo community.

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