NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27- Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru was on Monday hard pressed to explain how over Sh2 billion was spent in her county in the year 2017/2018 financial year when she appeared before a Senate Committee.
Waiguru who appeared before the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee(CPAIC), had a difficult time explaining financial variances recorded in the Auditor General’s report.
She blamed the officers who operate the Integrated Financial Management Information system(IFMIS) saying they are not conversant with it leading to wrong entries.
“The system is as good as the people who use it. So I will not defend the officers if they do not use the system as they ought to because they are the ones who have the responsibility to ensure they enter every entry into the system. When they don’t, they are the ones to be held responsible because the system cannot enter data by itself,” she said.
In their rejoinder, the committee members led by their chair Moses Kajwang’ (Homabay) expressed their dissatisfaction in Waiguru’s response which led to a heated debate between the governor and senators.
“I do not understand governor’s explanation because according to this report, IFMIS shows the county paid 2,213,777,303 for the compensation of employees but it received 2,446,094,800 so there is a variance of over 232 billion shillings which cannot be accounted for. Where is that money?” Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi questioned.
Waiguru was quick to respond to Wamatangi who kept interjecting as she spoke, saying that variances on the report could be explained.
“I have to finish chairman; I keep on being interrupted; I cannot even finish a sentence. Let me talk about salaries … you have to send that budget to the controller of budget; you cannot send the money to individuals. Therefore let no one imply that there is money or a variance that which cannot be accounted for while I am talking about the compensation of employees,” Waiguru maintained.
On his part, Kajwang’ who seemed to support his committee members wondered why the counties should continue to invest in IFMIS if it is not working but insisted that it is the only system that is believable with regards to county financial matters, thus something has to be done.
“You have said it before, and you have said it again today that IFMIS is robust. Then why is it not working in Kirinyaga? IFMIS is the only source of truth and if it cannot work in Kirinyaga then it will not work anywhere else. When we see this variance, there is a risk of maintaining manual records which is not reliable,” Kajwang’ said.
According to the Auditor General’s report, the county received Sh4,409,200,001 but the IFMIS report showed Sh2,182,554,00 was the only money that was accounted for with a difference of Sh2,226,646,001.
“The conclusion we are making is that IFMIS does not work in Kirinyaga . It does not matter what explanation the governor is giving. The bottom line is that it is not working,” Kajwang’ said.