State agencies owe KICC Sh742 million

KICC hosting Africa Climate Week 2023

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

Parliament is among State entities that owe the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Sh742 million that have remained unpaid for a long period of time.

The National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee on Commercial Affairs and Energy was shocked to learn that the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is among 328 public and private entities that owe KICC millions of Shillings.

A list of entities tabled in before the committee shows that the National Assembly owes Sh112 million while the Senate has not settled Sh8 million which has been outstanding for a considerably long period of time.

Parliament has leased office space at the KICC to cater for an increased number of Senators and staff.

“This is a serious matter. How can Parliament, which has a huge budget, fail to clear its debt to the KICC? We should call this a list of shame and Parliament should not be in any list of shame,” David Pkosing, who chairs the committee, said.

“These debtors must be made to pay. The fact that Parliament and Ministries refuse to clear their bills with KICC is impunity by the State itself.”

The bulk of the Sh742 million debt is owed by various government ministries and departments.

The list tabled by acting KICC chief executive Patricia Ondeng shows that the 328 entities that owe KICC failed to pay for conference facilities.

The Public Service Transformation Department owes the KICC Sh22 million while the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Inspectorate of State Corporations each owes the KICC Sh21.5 million.

The ICT Authority has not settled Sh17.4 million, the Ministry of Devolution and Planning (Sh16. 4 million), Nairobi City County (Sh15.9 million), Tintin Restaurant (Sh13.9 million), National Hospital Insurance Fund (Sh13.5 million), State Corporation Advisory Committee (Sh12.9 million), Ministry of Water and Irrigation (Sh11.8 million) and Performance Management and Coordination Department (Sh11 million).

“Most of these debts relate to unpaid conference facilities and services. We have written demand letters to all our debtors. Parliament knows that they owe us but it has not settled the debt,” Ms Ondeng said during the scrutiny of KICC books of accounts last evening.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu flagged the huge debt stating in an audit that the debts are not recognised as payables or pending bills in the books of the State departments and agencies that owe KICC.

Mr Pkosing wondered why Parliament had failed to settle the debt arguing it is sufficiently funded and is able to clear the pending bills.

“How does the auditor recommend that these debts be written off? KICC is going to die or lose the land which it has no title deed,” Mr Pkosing said.

“We need to know why the debts are not being paid, why the National Land Commission has refused to give title deeds for the land that KICC occupies. Why the CEO is in acting capacity for the past nine months and whether this is not a conspiracy to perpetuate corruption and impunity.”

Eldas MP Adan Keynan said the House cannot recommend debt write off but that State entities and private firms that owe KICC money pay within three months of adoption of the report.

“The Committee on Implementation will then follow up. If they fail, those of us who sit in the Budget committee should ensure that the debt is deducted from their subsequent budget to clear KICC debt,” Mr Keyan said.

The committee also questioned the failure by the KICC board to seek write off of Sh36 million that the office of retired President Mwai Kibaki defaulted on rent.

Ms Ondeng told the committee that the 11th Parliament approved a write off of Sh36 million that was incurred by Mr Kibaki’s private secretary who failed to pay rent for the three years it was domiciled on the 18th floor of KICC. She said the matter is currently before the KICC board.

 Prof Nick Wanjohi served as Mr Kibaki’s private secretary between 2012 and 2017.

Prof Wanjohi was expected to occupy space at the retired president’s office block in Nyari Estate, Nairobi, that was bought in 2013 by the government for Sh250 million.