Devolution Ministry probed over inflated Sh1.2bn costs

November 3, 2015 2:55 pm
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According to the Assets Register, the ministry spent Sh1.9million to purchase an Adobe In Design Cs6 software. The package currently retails at $700 (Sh71,396) online while Corel Draw retails for $450 (Sh45,897)/FILE
According to the Assets Register, the ministry spent Sh1.9million to purchase an Adobe In Design Cs6 software. The package currently retails at $700 (Sh71,396) online while Corel Draw retails for $450 (Sh45,897)/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3- The Devolution Ministry is on the spot over the purchase of office furniture and equipment to the tune of Sh1.2 billion that has been flagged by Auditor General Edward Ouko.

The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee was shocked with revelations that the ministry purchased 4GB flash disks at roughly Sh2,400 when they go for less than Sh1,000.

The document shows that Sh242,500 was spent to purchase 100 such disks.

The ministry also paid over Sh5 million to acquire Adobe and Corel Draw software which goes for way less than that.

According to the Assets Register, the ministry spent Sh1.9million to purchase an Adobe In Design Cs6 software. The package currently retails at $700 (Sh71,396) online while Corel Draw retails for $450 (Sh45,897).

The committee was keen to know how the ministry spent Sh1.7 million for the supply and installation of integrated monitoring touch screen in the CS’s office.

Also of interest to the MPs is the acquisition of a heavy duty photocopier worth Sh1.4 billion at Huduma Kenya Secretariat and purchase of 18 tailor made clear male and female condom dispensers at a cost of Sh450,000.

The Committee chairman Nicholas Gumbo said the team will tour some of the projects which include markets and lorry parks which county government have claimed to have rehabilitated but the ministry listed them as among its projects.

“These things are not from Mars, somebody is purporting they were done but more fundamentally we are guided by the Public Procurement and Disposal Act and it requires that before you make any payment there is something called an inspection and acceptance committee. Because this is a serious problem, we will require the payment voucher for all this purported payments.”

Gumbo added: “Even if it is at random we are going to have to visit some of this areas. These car parks are being repaired for over Sh100 million and storm water drainages for over Sh20 million.”

The ministry has listed rehabilitation of Bungoma (Sh23,956,248), Homabay (Sh35,341,528) and Maungu (Sh98,195,769) as among its assets.

Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu however called for the clarification from the ministry citing that the Bungoma County Governor Kenneth Lusaka had claimed to be rehabilitating the county bus park.

At the same time, Kieni MP Kanini Keega faulted the report that Mweiga Market in Nyeri County had been constructed to completion. He said that construction of the market which is in his constituency had actually stalled.

Devolution PS Peter Mangiti unsuccessfully tried to withdraw the document that his ministry officials submitted to both the audit office and committee.

“Perhaps my team really messed up with the paperwork, I really want to beg your indulgence, Mr Chair, and perhaps that is why my team enclosed this as an internal document which had not gone to the auditors. I have an asset register which I personally reviewed and some of those that are enclosed here are not in my asset registers,” he said.

MPs Aden Abdikadir, Bowen Kangongo and Julius Melly called for further probe into the misuse of public funds by the ministry.

The Devolution Ministry has been facing a storm over the Sh791 million fraud at the National Youth Service, which has seen MPs seek to impeach CS Anne Waiguru.

On October 23, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi rejected a motion by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter’s to remove Waiguru from office.

This comes after a court allowed a fraud investigator to find out how money was allegedly stolen from NYS and transferred to a private bank account.

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