, NAIROBI, Kenya May 22 – Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has invited former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei to appear before MPs to answer to queries raised by the Auditor General in the 2015/2016 financial report.
The resolution to invite Shollei, now the Uasin Gishu Woman Representative was arrived at in a session Tuesday where members questioned the allocation of Sh814 million that went to the construction of the Lodwar Law Courts which later stalled.
Appearing before the Opiyo Wandayi-led committee, the current Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Atieno Amadi was tasked to explain how such huge amounts of money could go into the construction of the High Court in Turkana County and Lodwar Law Courts yet it was ‘in a remote area’.
Wandayi faulted the Judiciary for entering into a contract with the construction company at an exorbitant price describing the transaction as a cash cow for some few individuals.
“It is clear that the awarding of the contract was driven by a few individuals who appeared determined to loot public money,” said Wandayi.
In her defence, Amadi said that her predecessor was best placed to give reasons as to how the allocations for the courts were done prompting members to see it prudent to invite Shollei.
“It is true indeed that the Judiciary needs facilities but I cannot be able to explain why the construction of the Lodwar Court was too high,” said Amadi.
Kibwezi East Member of Parliament Jessica Mbalu echoed Wandayi’s sentiments and said there was no value for money in the construction of the court and said an explanation from Shollei would be vital in aiding the probe.
“In other parts of the country like Makueni for instance there are courts which have leaking roofs yet a court in Lodwar which has not even been completed was allocated millions,” said Mbalu.
According to the initial plan the commencement date of the construction of the Lodwar court was to begin in 30 September 2013 and was expected to be completed by 20 April 2015.
However, the contract later stalled one year later following a special audit on Judiciary and Judicial Service Commission that proposed a need for a scale down of the project scope and cost as it was considered to be very huge compared with the likely workload in the country.
When the judiciary suggested to the contractor the idea of scaling down a dispute arose between the Judiciary and the contractor and the matter is now under arbitration.