By Viscount Francis K’Owuor,
The Auditor-General report has unearthed cases of massive plunder of public resources in county governments across the country. The cases include irregular spending of millions of public funds on trips, allowances, leisure and constructions by county assembly members.
In the report for the 2015/16 financial year, some of the county assemblies, like Nairobi for instance, also failed to bank revenues running into millions of shillings. The city-county, says Mr. Edward Ouko, failed to bank Sh69.5 million it earned from revenues.
MCAs for Kiambu county got paid an extra allowance of Sh1.2 million as per diem for a workshop held in Naivasha. The report says that the MCAs were paid Sh2.4 million for a two-day consultative meeting, yet it was scheduled to last for a day.
“There was also a lack of prudence in use of public funds after MCAs were paid a total 17.1 million as allowances for meetings organized without specific agendas for discussion,” Mr. Ouko says.
In Machakos county, the county assembly failed to provide an explanation on an expenditure of Sh119 million paid to staff as salaries.
“The Assembly’s approved budget was Sh883 million against a total expenditure of Sh822 million, resulting in an under-expenditure of Sh60 million or approximately seven percent of the approved budget,” the report says.
In Makueni, there were irregular construction works of an office block, wall padding, septic tank, and drainage system, parking bay, and landscaping, cafeteria, and kitchen, all totaling to Sh27.5 million. Sh52 million was also paid to a law firm for legal services that were not offered.
The report revealed inaccuracies in the filing of financial records by Coast counties. Mombasa led to anomalies amounting to Sh7 billion, followed by Lamu with Sh5 billion, which contradicts IFMIS. Kwale could not explain Sh20 million as reflected in its fund balance forwarded to the auditor. While in Kilifi, Sh25 million did not reconcile with the statements of receipt and payments, which differ with a summary of appropriation. More discrepancies were found in financial statements of Tana River and Taita Taveta, among other counties.
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