Govt loses Sh259m in cemetry scandal

March 3, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – A report by the Controller and Auditor General released to Parliament says that City Council of Nairobi (CCN) overvalued proposed land for a new cemetery by Sh259 million.

The government audit said the committee ignored a valuation by the Ministry of Lands which quoted the market price for the 120 acres parcel of land at Sh24million.

The council went ahead and approved a purchase price of Sh283.2 million.

The report which was tabled by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta in Parliament on Tuesday is calling for disciplinary action against officers who were involved in the procurement and those who perpetuated the overpayment.

Controller and Auditor General Anthony Gatumbu recommended quick recovery of about Sh300 million lost in the scam due to the poor and inadequate manner in which procurement process was handled.

“Appropriate measure should be taken by the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government and the CCN to recover the over payment of Sh259 million from the concern parties,” the report says.

The Controller and Auditor General says that the poor handling of the procurement system has led to the government incurring more costs that it had initially planned.

“The poor management and inadequate manner in which the procurement process of land for cemetery use was handled has resulted in government not obtaining any meaningful value for money against the expenditure of Sh290.6 million.”

The report further says: “The city council may have to search for an alternative site at an extra cost should the relevant authorities and stakeholders declare LR14759 inappropriate and unsuitable for use as a cemetery.”

The auditor says the council ignored the advice of the Director of City Planning on the tender documents and search for lands for use as a cemetery adding that the Mavoko Municipal Council had not approved the change of use of the land in question from agricultural use for cemetery.

The excess payments for what would have been alternative for the overflowing Langata Cemetery went to other parties but not the vendor of the land in Athi River who on his own cooled his heels with a cool Sh105 million.

The auditor questions why Henry Kilonzi the purported vendor signed the sale agreement yet the tender was awarded to Naen Ranch Limited arguing that it flouted the Public Procurement and Disposal Act rules.

The audit report wonders why Mr Kilonzi was only paid through his advocates Sh107.5 million out of the entire transaction of Sh283 million while the balance of Sh175.5 million was disbursed and paid to other parties.


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