, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – The Ministry of Water and Irrigation says it instituted investigations into corruption allegations at parastatals under its docket long before the purported expose by Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri.
A brief prepared at the ministry and seen by Capital News says investigations were initiated two years ago at the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation among other corporations.
“In the last two years, the Ministry has had to deal with serious incidences of runaway corruption at the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC) and the Nairobi Water Company among others.”
The probe was carried out in collaboration with other government agencies including the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, the Efficiency Monitoring Unit and the Criminal Investigations Department.
“The ministry recently recovered a valuable piece of dam construction equipment – a motor grader – valued at Sh30 million which had been stolen and taken across the border to Ethiopia. Similarly, at the Nairobi Water Company, water revenues have increased by over Sh100 million per month over the past three months following streamlining of management by the ministry.”
The brief also emphasises that there is distinct autonomy at the State corporations, which have management boards, CEO’s and procurement/tender committees that do not refer to the ministry when making decisions on contracts.
The Ministry says some of the changes at the NWCPC were vigorously resisted and followed by a fire at the premises in September last year which is thought to have been deliberate.
“Following the fire, the pace of the audit was slowed down due to the lost records. This has necessitated the reconstruction of the records through a forensic audit. KPMG is undertaking the exercise which will be complete within the next 30 days.”
At the Nairobi Water Company, the brief says, water connections have increased from 120,000 in 2004 to over 200,000 “which is however still too low since they should stand at over 300,000.”
‘This unaccounted for number of connections/accounts is due to outright corruption where some people are enjoying water services through illegal connections.”