Auditor General alarmed over failure by Governor Kidero to protect Nairobi assets

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By Kenya Confidential Transparency Editor – Nairobi, November 25, 2014

Auditor General report reveals that outsiders have invaded Muslim Primary School in Nairobi and are occupying blocks of seven classrooms at night

An audit conducted on the Nairobi County Government also reveals a severe malfunction of the Ksh 400 million Integrated Urban Surveillance System set up by City Hall.

According to the study, the intruders are using several Muslim Primary School classrooms as sitting room, bedroom, kitchen and even toilets.

This was one among eight schools where vandalism is rampant with learning of students affected by lack of desks, leaking roofs and cold class rooms because of damaged windows.

“The Nairobi County Government has various schools in the Pangani Ward – Starehe Constituency. A field visit of the primary schools showed that the County government has not constructed perimeter walls to protect the school land,” it stated.

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The Auditor General further stated that the situations reveal significant impairments in some of the County government properties.

Schools affected include St Brigite Primary School, Dr Aggrey Primary School, Pumwani, Ainsworth, Pangani, Race Course and Juja Road Primary schools.

“Vandalism is also rampant in the eight schools hence learning for the pupils is normally affected by lack of desks and other social amenities,” it indicated.

The audit conducted on the Nairobi County Government also revealed a severe malfunction of the Ksh 400 million Integrated Urban Surveillance System set up by City Hall.

The study explains that the project entailed the installation of surveillance cameras, installation of a new traffic management system, construction of a control centre and installation of associated software. Both the cameras and traffic lights leave a lot to be desired by city residents.

The statement by the Auditor General indicated that communication between “the control centre and several surveillance points was not possible because of lack of requisite equipment.”

“Most cameras installed to manage traffic were not functional and of the few that were active, a signal could not be displayed in the control room due to poor internet services.”

The report concluded that the surveillance system and security installations may not be relied upon and the traffic management within the CBD may be affected.

It further revealed that during the 2014/2015 financial year, the Nairobi County Government failed to meet its revenue collection target by Ksh 2.8 billion despite implementing the cashless payment system.

According to the report, this is attributed to the lack of City Hall to implement the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems which is considered to be more secure.

The study further stated that revenue collections continue to be below expected revenue collections despite the fact that the county has the potential to collect more than double the amount.

It also revealed that the County borrowed Ksh298 that had not been factored in the approved estimates.

Over the last three years Kidero has ignored pleas from his tenants in Buru Buru County estate to intervene over a closure of access road by some tenants which led to permanent and illegal blockage of rain water way through Pink Court.

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Top: January 2016 El Njono floods to a family household in Pink Court. Bottom: Same family suffers double jeopardy of floods in November 2016 La Nina.

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In January the blockage led to flooding of some of the rental houses during El Njno rains. Yesterday evening heavy La Nina downpour flooded six houses in Pink Court damaging household worth millions of shillings. The blockage was authorised by City Hall Planning department under Grace Mwema using Governor Kidero’s letter head supplied by his Personal Assistant and Chief of Staff George Wainaina – now facing corruption charges.

Besides destroying the tenants’ household the flooding weakens the structural texture of the County houses diminishing their value and longevity as revenue earning assets. The rapid degradation caused by flowing also poses danger to tenants. Apart from their personal household losses they have to repair doors that are destroyed by the floods.

All that is the result of negligence and impunity of the part of City Hall headed by Governor Kidero. His County government does not pay any compensation but residents are now considering suing City Hall for authorsing the closure without both public consultation or professional advice from its own professionals or environmental impact survey.

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But Kidero is not alone when it comes to gross negligence of management of County assets and finances. Several Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Counties in Nyanza and Western Kenya spent close to Ksh 1.5 billion in payment of employees that the Auditor-General says was squandered way past the sum of the total payroll figures.

In Kisumu, the audit questioned Ksh 405 million excess, Ksh 6.8 million in Homa Bay, Ksh 577 million in Kakamega, and Ksh 136 million in Migori, which Auditor General Edward Ouko said was either past the total sum or was paid outside the payroll.

Ouko questioned Kisumu’s Ksh 3.112 billion used to pay employees in the 2014/15 financial year, a figure that included Ksh 69 million paid as collective bargaining agreement arrears.

A comparison of the actual money paid to employees and that disclosed in the financial statements showed a difference of Ksh 405 million, which Ouko said could not be explained.

While a comparison of the earnings of the employees of the county under Governor Jack Ranguma showed a total of Ksh 2.7 billion, the county disclosed that it had paid out Ksh 3.11 billion.

Ouko also flagged that the county lost Ksh 22 million to five sacked executives in 2015, who had pending car loans and mortgages.

Ouko questioned a variance of Ksh 23 million that was not banked after collection of revenue between April and June 30, 2015. The auditor also questioned the failure by the County to release Ksh 58 million meant for the county’s Level Five Hospital.

In Homa Bay, Ouko questioned a Ksh 342.8 million variance in the purchase of goods and services as well as a Ksh 6.8 million difference in the payment of employees. The report said that the County had omitted Ksh 26.4 million imprests in its documents when the audit was done.

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In the period under review, the top auditor says the County paid Ksh 123 million to a contractor and a consultant for the construction of Kadongo-Gendia Road even before the two were declared non-performing and the contract terminated.

Similarly, the county paid Sh5.7 million for the maintenance of two roads (Nyalkini-Imbo and Omoya-Pineapple) for work that was never done.

Ouko also questioned a Ksh 4.9 million payment for VIP toilets and changing rooms at the Homa Bay Stadium, whose construction was still ongoing, six months after its supposed completion date. He further flagged two other projects costing Ksh 12 million that were paid for but had not been done or were incomplete.

In Kakamega, he questioned the use of Ksh 133 million for travel and transport expenditure, which was not itemised, as well as Ksh 200 million given to Mumias Sugar farmers, whose distribution the auditor says could not be verified.

Ouko also questioned the late payment of the Ksh 2,000 given to new mothers for 18 months under the Oparanya care programme, yet the funds had been appropriated. “At the time of this audit in December 2015, Ksh 17.87 million was due and payable to over 16,145 mothers,” says Ouko.

He flagged the County for paying Ksh 17.123 million for road works that were incomplete. A total of Ksh 39 million for various works in the Lands Ministry was spent with no supporting documents.

Ouko said that Kakamega paid Ksh 577 million outside the payroll for an undetermined number of nursery teachers, clinical officers and ward administrators.

The auditor further said that the county paid Ksh 1.74 million instead of the legal maximum of Ksh 150,000 to a law firm for “taking instructions to sue a senator and former deputy speaker of the county assembly for defamation.”

In Migori, the auditor questioned another unexplained variance in county payroll of Ksh 136 million. While the statement of receipts reflected an amount of Ksh 1.679 billion for salaries and allowances for permanent employees, Ouko said it did not tally with the payroll summary figure of Ksh 1.54 billion. Ouko further said that Governor Okoth Obado’s government re-allocated Ksh 63 million without reference to the assembly.

In Busia, the county paid Ksh 11 million for the purchase of medical equipment donated to the County, and which had not been delivered when the audit was done in March 2016.

The Auditor General reports must alert Kenyans on the quality and competence of the men and women that elect to run or mismanage their Counties come August 2017. It is imperative that they elect managers of their taxes not politicians to loot public coffers.

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