MPs to summon Anyang' Nyong'o over misuse of Sh2bn donor funds

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o, who chairs the Council of Governors Health Committee, during a press conference at Delta Corner in Nairobi on April 27, 2021

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The county is among those that received Sh13.32 billion from IDA for the urban projects but the lack of expenditure returns casts doubts on the continuity of the project. 

The National Assembly is considering summoning Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o over misuse of over Sh2 billion in donor funds meant for the county’s urban development projects.

The resolution of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, comes after the county failed to present its expenditure returns to the State Department of Housing, as required by the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act. 

The expenditure returns on use of funds transferred to counties were to be presented to the State Department of Housing that signed the financing deal on behalf of the government with the International Development Association (IDA).

The need to summon Prof Nyongo came after Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga, while appearing before the PAC, a watchdog committee of the National Assembly, expressed frustrations from the governor and the employees of the county government on the need to be furnished with responses on the expenditures.

The expenditure issues have been flagged by the Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu in the accounts of the State Department for Housing for the year 2018/2019 that PAC is currently considering.

Mr Wandayi said that summoning Prof Nyongo will help the committee get the required information.

“We will be compelled to summon the Kisumu governor as it is evident the money is being ‘eaten’ by county staff. There is need for the matter to be probed,” said Mr Wandayi.

“Heads will roll”

So far the county has received over Sh2 billion for the last three financial years but it cannot account for the IDA funds.

“We know very well that this money is being misused. Failure to provide the required information is a clear indication that this money is being ‘eaten’ by county officers and that is why accountability is becoming a problem. I am warning that heads will roll. The National Treasury should go slow on releasing funds for the projects,” added Mr Wandayi.

The county is among those that received Sh13.32 billion from IDA for the urban projects but the lack of expenditure returns casts doubts on the continuity of the project. 

The failure by the county government to provide the required information has seen Mr Charles Hinga, the Principal Secretary in the State Department for Housing, become helpless as he has no control over the funds usage at the county.

But even as this happened, Mr Wandayi challenged Mr Hinga, who appeared before PAC on Thursday, to formally engage Prof Nyong’o, who is the accounting officer, to ensure that they get responses on how the projects are being implemented.

PS on the spot

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said there is no way the PS can claim not to have answers yet he has appeared before Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to respond to queries touching on the matter.

“Mr PS, look for the governor, sit with him and bring answers to this committee. That's all we want. If that doesn't happen, then we will look for him,” said Mr Duale.

The committee’s move to summon the Governor saw Mr Hinga withdraw all the responses he had tabled before the committee while lamenting that Kisumu was not taking the matter seriously.

“I would like to withdraw the submissions for the Kisumu project in their entirety so that I can give fresh answers. I would also like to clarify that I have not been able to get the answers despite calling personally. Apparently, they are not taking this matter seriously. Even if they meet they never have answers,” said Mr Hinga.

Discrepancies

In her report, Gathungu said that in the implementation of the project,  there was non-adherence to the reporting framework as a review of financial statements revealed non-compliance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

The Auditor-General noted that the summary of the overall projects performance did not include physical progress based on outputs, outcomes and impact since project commencement or comments on value for money achievements, as required.

On funding, she said she could not confirm the accuracy and validity of the funding summary, as it is inconsistent with the previous year’s format.

According to her, the funding summary did not indicate the financial year for the amount received to date and the undrawn balance to date.

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