, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 9 – Auditor General has indicted Members of County Assemblies (MCA) for illegally earning millions of shillings from public coffers through allowances, foreign and domestic travels.
Edward Ouko’s audits reports for the year ending 30 June 2016, has linked MCAs in Bungoma, Embu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisumu and Kitui to massive theft and plunder of County funds.
The reports on expenditure review for the county assemblies comes at a time after the Office of the Auditor General also published another damning report that exposed rot in County executives.
Ouko’s reports which have since been tabled in the Senate will get to be investigated by the lawmakers who are mandated to discharge their oversight role in the counties.
In Bungoma for instance, Ouko’s report has revealed that the Ward representatives were paid two day allowances totaling Sh1.1 million to facilitate them to attend a past presidential function held in the county.
“There was no justification for the payment of the MCAs, there was no budgetary allocation for the activity alleged to have taken place on 14 November 2015. Consequently, the County Assembly breached regulations governing payment of allowances,” said Ouko.
The Bungoma MCAs are also accused of receiving Sh5.8 million paid as allowances for participation in public functions contrary to Salaries and Remuneration Commission regulations that prohibit such payments.
The amount is also alleged to have found their way in members of the public pockets who attended the event.
In Kitui, Ouko pointed out that the MCAs spent Sh125 million for domestic travel and subsistence however, what caught the eye of the Auditor General was the Sh30 million used for trips to Nairobi and other neighboring towns yet there were no supporting documents including bus tickets, work tickets or air tickets to prove the same.
“Included in this amount were MCAs allowances for domestic travel and accommodation for official duties to Mombasa, Nairobi, Thika, Mwingi and Konza city in Malili. Payment vouchers for these trips had no supporting documents,” said Ouko.
A trip to Mombasa for 8 MCAs and 5 County staff on 4 September 2015 and 17 May 2016 is also on the spotlight with the report disclosing that Sh1.2 million was allocated for the said members as their allowance.
“It has not been possible to ascertain that the Sh1,257,555 domestic travel services were procured competitively and that the County Assembly got value for money in the expenditure as at 30 June 2016.
In Embu, the Auditor General has pointed a finger at the MCAs for spending Sh16 million on domestic travel and subsistence. Ouko has disclosed that the journeys undertaken by the officers were neither supported by work tickets nor bus tickets as an evidence of the officers leaving the duty station.
“Under the circumstance, the propriety of Sh16,614,835 expenditure could not be confirmed as at 30 June 2016,” said Ouko.
Members of County Assemblies in Elgeyo Marakwet are on the spot light over the purchase of unused kitchen equipment which amounted to Sh6.8million.
The ward representatives have been accused of procuring kitchen equipment and furniture worth Sh3.6 million shillings and Sh3.2million respectively for use in the cafeteria.
“A physical verification revealed that the items purchased were in the store and remained unused since the cafeteria where they were supposed to be used is still incomplete.
“It is apparent that the County Assembly did not get value for this expenditure. It would therefore appear that the procurement was done without any specific user requirement and the expenditure of sh6, 855, 568 arising from their procurement was unnecessary,” said Ouko.