NAIROBI, Kenya, June 10 – The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Atieno Amadi on Tuesday told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly that contracts were awarded over the phone under her predecessor Gladys Boss Shollei’s tenure.
She said they have received pay demands worth Sh68 million for contracts awarded this way and specifically to do with the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta in April last year.
“There’s nothing on record and that’s the reason we haven’t been able to make payment on that,” she said.
She added that the Sh68 million was in addition to Sh62 million already paid out for advertisements, “and such things,” to do with the inauguration of President Kenyatta.
Payments PAC Chairman and Budalangi Member of Parliament Ababu Namwamba took issue with.
“This expenditure has really shocked this committee. Someone decides we are going to take this money and spend it on the Presidential inauguration; a State function governed by statute with a clear budgetary allocation?” he posed.
Amadi said court construction had also halted despite the majority of the projects having been pre-financed and under circumstances that warranted further investigation.
“We have asked JKUAT Enterprises Limited who are our consultants in this construction business to appear before the JSC and explain because I sent a team out and from the report they brought back, it’s like those projects are not ongoing. The contractors are not on site and with the pre-financing we would have expected that the courts would be ready,” she testified.
She added that heavy pre-financing was not the only irregularity noted where the court construction was concerned and that in some instances there was over-valuing.
“For example in Narok we had an award for Sh106 million for completion but when we sent public works (officials) for a second opinion they told us we only needed about Sh40 million contrary to what our consultants had said,” she said.
She also told the committee that despite paying Sh310 million for a Chief Justice’s residence in Runda, they were yet to receive the title deed to the property.
“We’ve paid for it fully and I have communicated with the lawyer to find out whether the purchase price has been released because the transfer was never signed,” she relayed.
Amadi went further to explain that she could not even then proceed to sign the transfer documents as the transaction was under investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga was expected to appear before the committee on Wednesday to explain why US Marshals had to be flown to evaluate the property’s security and to extricate himself from blame for the billions lost in fiscal malfeasance as reported by the Auditor General in a judicial audit conducted for 2012 and 2013.