Disagreement as NACADA opts to wait for audit

January 31, 2014 2:48 pm
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The board agreed that the auditing team should be reconstituted due to allegations that some members could have been bribed/FILE
The board agreed that the auditing team should be reconstituted due to allegations that some members could have been bribed/FILE
NAIROBI Kenya, Jan 31 – The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) board has resolved to allow auditing by the Treasury to continue while officers implicated in corruption allegations stay in office.

The board agreed that the auditing team should be reconstituted due to allegations that some members could have been bribed.

Addressing journalists on Friday, the authority’s Chief Executive Officer William Okedi said the new auditing team will be independent and the information will only be passed through him and copied to the Chairman John Mututho.

“The board resolved that the audit exercise should continue under the prevailing terms of reference; that the auditors to conduct the exercise independently without direction of the board or management,” he stated.

Okedi said that out of eight members in the meeting, six said they wanted the auditing process to finish first before any action is taken.

At variance with Okelo, a board member Fazul Mohammed who is in charge of auditing however said all those involved should step aside as the process continues.

“We are not doing this forensic audit to know whether money has been lost, we are finding out, how much money has been lost, “he stated.

“The chairman opted for this matter to be differed so that there can be consultation…there was no vote, these are just ‘cooked’ figures.”

Mohammed maintained a proper audit must be done. “Kenyans must be told who ‘ate’ the money. The former CEO and Chairman must also be investigated. As the chair of the audit, I believe you cannot judge anybody while still in office. These people should just step aside.”

He said the audit report was going to be released in three months time.

At one point, Mututho stepped in and took questions to avoid members sending mixed signals.

Mututho said despite the current issues, Kenyans should not lose focus of fighting the real problem in the society; drug abuse.

“Should you know anything irregular that we have done, including John Mututho taking bhang, pombe (alcohol) or whatever it is, please feel free at any time as Kenyans and inform us,” he stated.

This comes after Mututho claimed that millions of shillings collected by NACADA for liquor licenses could not be accounted for.

On January 20, he had announced that, “A lot of money has disappeared. How do you think it has disappeared? Take your piece of paper and pen. I’ll tell you. There are 30,000 alcoholic outlets in Nairobi. If the least cost license that you can buy is Sh12, 500, that will give you how many millions?”

“Sh375 million is what you should have gotten. You all got it wrong like NACADA, what they have in their books is Sh12 million,” he revealed as he also accused the National Treasury of playing into NACADA management’s hands by recommending that the findings of the audit into the agency be returned to them.

“How do you go hunt for a thief and then submit the report to the thief; how does that work?” he posed.

He therefore called upon the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to conduct its own investigations into the finances of the anti-drugs agency.

“EACC are just around the corner but they’re busy having tea as all these things are happening,” he accused.

Mututho however said that after consultation with various stakeholders among them the auditor general, he said the board may be called to vote on the matter.

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