Why voters want MP Otiende Amollo out of Rarieda race

Otiende Amollo

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Three voters have petitioned court to bar the electoral commission from clearing Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo’s bid to defend the parliamentary seat over alleged misappropriation and loss of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).

The petitioners also want court to compel the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the alleged loss of money and prosecute those who will found culpable.

Mr Peter Agoro, George Bush and Erick Otieno Onyango say their petition is based on findings of an adverse opinion report of the Auditor-General dated February 11, 2022 against the lawmaker.

The report is for the financial year ended June 30, 2020.

In the case filed at the High Court in Milimani, the petitioners claim that there has been looting of public funds in Rarienda Constituency, inconsistencies in accounting for the funds and unsupported withdrawals made from the CDF account.

They also allege that there has been loss of money and irregular expenditure of the constituency funds.

In addition, the petitioners have made claims of irregular and unclear award of a tender for the Construction of an administration block in the Constituency. They have sued the MP, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), EACC and the Attorney General, respectively.

“Mr Amollo is still holding the office even after a very adverse report was delivered against him by the Auditor-General dated February 11, 2022 and no action has been taken by the EACC to investigate such very traumatizing issues to the people of Rarienda and to Kenyans in general,” reads the court papers.

In their supporting affidavit, they have told court that they have also furnished the EACC with a public petition concerning the matter detailing the said Auditor’s adverse opinion report.

The report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu indicates that the basis of the adverse opinion include the inaccuracies of the financial statements such as stale cheques, unsupported cash withdrawals, unsupported expenditure and receipts and irregular expenditure on bursary funds.

The auditor was unable to confirm validity, completeness and accuracy of some of the financial statements concerning the Constituency.

She said a review of bank statements indicated that there were cash withdrawals amounting to Sh23 million made from the account during the year ended June 2020. The nature of transactions were not confirmed.

In regard to stale cheques, the Auditor-General said the bank reconciliation statement reflected unpresented cheques amounting to Sh2.4 million.

Included in the unpresented cheques were stale cheques amounting to Sh132,619 which dated as far as March 2019 and which had not been reversed in the cashbook.

On unsupported expenditures and receipts, the Auditor-General noted there were anomalies and that payment vouchers of various expenses were not availed to auditors for verification.

For instance, she said although the statements indicated there was an expenditure of Sh6.1 million on committee expenses the schedule in support of the payment vouchers were signed without indicating when the meetings were held.

Further, some schedules were not supported with committee minutes and that the dates on the CDF committee meetings’ minutes did not match with those of the payment schedules.

In regard to irregular expenditure on bursary funds, the Auditor-General said the validity and accuracy of Sh41.2 million that was said to have been transferred to other government units by the CDF could not be confirmed.

She pointed out that minutes of how needy students were identified and acknowledgement letters from respective schools were not availed for audit.

She said the statement of receipts and payments reflected transfers to other government units an amount of Sh41.2 million which included Sh27.9 million for bursary to secondary schools, Sh5 million (tertiary) and Sh427,000 for special schools.

“A sample of 36 schools picked to confirm whether the cheques were cleared from the bank statements revealed that the cheques in question were not drawn in favour of the schools indicated on the bursary schedule.  Instead the cheques totaling to Sh5.8 million were drawn in favour of other payees in different values or denominations,” said the Auditor-General in the report.

In addition, that bursary payment of Sh5 million was raised had been raised but the cheque drawn was for Sh5,860,322 million, resulting to an unexplained overpayment amounting to Sh860,322.

The case will be mentioned on May 31, 2022 for directions at the High Court in Milimani.

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