Shady payments cost nine Rift Valley counties Sh1bn

Nancy Gathungu

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu addresses participants during a retreat of the Senate Liaison Committee at Eka Hotel in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, on June 5, 2024.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • In Kericho County, payments worth Sh29 million were made to 15 contractors without documents.
  • Turkana County paid Sh18 million to building contractors, the amount was not supported by invoices.

Nine Rift Valley counties may have lost nearly Sh1 billion in irregular payments for work not done and services not rendered.

This was revealed by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu in her report for the 2022-2023 financial year, which noted that most of the counties could not provide documents to support dubious expenditures running into millions of shillings.

In Kericho County, payments worth Sh29 million were made to 15 contractors without documents proving that they had supplied any goods or offered any services to the devolved unit.

The county government also paid Sh169 million for domestic travel and allowances for 47 officers but a review of the Ifmis payment details and bank statements revealed that the employees were paid in excess of the number of days that may reasonably be available in a year.

While Turkana County paid Sh18 million to building contractors, the amount was not supported by invoices, delivery notes, purchase orders, contracts, inspection and acceptance reports and completion certificates.

Supply of furniture

In West Pokot, Governor Simon Kachapin paid Sh5,898,204 for the supply of furniture for 3,934 Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) centres.

However, market surveys done by the procurement unit indicated the price per chair as Sh900, but the actual average procurement price for the supplies was Sh1,499 per chair, leading to an excess payment of Sh599 per chair and a possible loss of Sh2,356,466 in public funds.

The county government also procured a rig and truck at Sh41,884,000 but did not provide the original logbook for the truck as evidence of ownership. A post-delivery inspection report from the public works department to confirm the suitability of the machinery was not provided.

In Samburu County, Governor Lati Leleit paid Sh36,441,690 to casual workers in the department of health. However, there was no formal engagement of the casuals nor approval by the County Public Service Board.

In Trans Nzoia, Governor George Natembeya has been faulted for paying casual labourers Sh95 million in wages for more than twelve months. It had hired 682 casual labourers for more than the prescribed period of three months.

In Uasin Gishu County, Governor Jonathan Bii irregularly hired a private legal consultant at Sh6 million. However, there were no procurement records confirming that the legal services were competitively sourced.

Sh200 million

Baringo County is also on the spot for spending more than Sh200 million on fuel, oil and lubricants, but could not provide supporting documents such as fuel registers, work tickets, detailed orders, and statements of consumption from the contracted suppliers.

Laikipia County under Governor Joshua Irungu irregularly paid Sh801,720 to MCAs and assembly staff for domestic travel.

However, these payments which should have been paid by the county assembly, were wrongly charged to the executive.

In Nakuru County, Governor Susan Kihika's administration irregularly paid 15 million to MCAs for domestic travel, despite the assembly having an independent vote. The county is also on the spot over the irregular payment of Sh116 million in legal fees.

In Narok, the county used Sh59 million to buy motor vehicles and other equipment but the delivery notes, pre-inspection reports and evidence that the vehicles were received were not provided for audit. Further, the post-delivery inspection conducted and a report from mechanical engineer from the Department of Roads.

Kajiado County made irregular payments of Sh43 million to temporary employees whose schedules were not provided for audit.

In Bomet, Governor Hillary Barchok irregularly paid lawyers Sh22 million in legal fees without payment vouchers, demand notes or court proceeding statements. The devolved unit also made unsupported payments of Sh19 million for the routine maintenance of vehicles and other transport equipment.