How MCAs Fleece the Counties Dry with Fake Sitting Allowances

Auditor General Edward Ouko, in his 2016/2017 report has revealed how members of the county assemblies have been using fictitious means to pocket public funds.

Sitting allowances for committee meetings appear to be the quickest avenue for minting quick cash for most county leaders and staff, with millions of shillings suspected to have been misappropriated through fake claims.

In Kisumu, for instance, Sh143 million was spent in personal allowances. However, an audit review of the committees’ attendance registers and the membership attendance schedules for July 2016 revealed numerous instances of multiple payments totaling to Sh648,900.

The amount was paid out to individuals who, it was established, attended more than two committee meetings on the same date and the same time.

“Consequently, the propriety and validity of the Sh648,900 paid as personal allowance could not be confirmed,” reads part of the report.

In Kakamega, the auditor raised issue with Sh7 million that was paid to MCAs to attend various committee meetings, noting that most of them did not sign attendance registers.

“Review of the attendance registers maintained for various committee meetings revealed that sitting allowances were paid to more number of members than the registered in attendance,” the report notes.

Nakuru spent Sh59.7 million to pay MCAs’ sitting allowances, but the review of a biometric system that had been installed in the assembly to monitor attendance of both plenary and committee meetings showed several disparities.

In Kajiado, Speaker Johnson Osoi, who is the chairman of the county assembly forum, and Kajiado West MP George Sunkuiya have both been singled out in the audit report as having received imprest that they did not account for.

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