Machakos county hit by reports of massive cash fiddling

Governor Alfred Mutua.

Governor Alfred Mutua.

All may not be rosy in Machakos county which has been touted as among the best managed counties. According to the report of the Finance and Revenue Collection Committee on Income and Expenditure for the fiscal year 2013/2014, there is massive corruption deals bedeviling Governor Alfred Mutua’s administration.

The damning report tabled in the County Assembly on Thursday afternoon by the committee chairperson Oliver Nzeki (Mua ward), found that a huge sum of public funds running into millions had allegedly been mismanaged by the department of finance.

After examining the 2013/2014 income and expenditure report of the county government, the committee of 13 members noted that Sh109.8 million was stated as unspecified revenue which they termed a breach of the Public Finance Management Act.

“This is a large amount of money to be stated as unspecified revenue and contrary to Public Finance Management Act section 165(2)(a) that requires a statement of receipts and disbursement in form prescribed by the accounting standards board from time to time,” read the report in part.

The committee also observed that revenue collected from Machakos and Masaku, Yatta and Matuu are each set separate from the other as was the case previously and which is inconsistent with the new order of devolution. Another revelation in the report is that Sh3.8 million was incurred as expenditure for an aerodrome and airstrip yet the county lacks such facilities.

A debt of Sh18.5 million was recorded as expenditure yet there was no movement of cash involved in writing off the debt, raising fears the transaction may have been fraudulent. The committee requested for verification of the expenditure of land purchased at Sh10 million and the same be identified.

The committee further expressed concern how the county government incurred an expenditure of Sh378 million on constructions of buildings yet no details of such activities are available to identify with the said amount.

Nzeki, while calling upon the Assembly to pass the report, told the House that the committee had discussed the 2013/2014 income and expenditure report on October 21 and 22 last year and on November 28 and 29 noted that the finance department recorded zero collection of cess in October and November yet they had collected Sh7,000,915 in the month of November 2013.

“This does not make sense. Royalties (quarry extracts fees) as computed were too low to comprehend. The frequency of business at the quarry and billions of transactions should not give this county what can be earned as cess,” Nzeki read.

He also reported that firefighting equipment and ambulances are not charged yet the report shows collection of revenue from the services as high as Sh2.8 million per month and revenue from firefighting and ambulance management rose from Sh368,190 in December 2013 to Sh2,854,632 in March and April and edited to Sh2,434,632 in May 2014 yet fell to Sh520,210 in June the same year.

“This reveals a lot of underhand business unknown to members of this house,” the report stated The Assembly was concerned by revelations of wastage of funds as shown in the report and called for adjournment of the House so that members can study the report further before debate.

However, they called for overhaul of the department of finance, adding that all those responsible be held accountable. Deputy Speaker Nathaniel Ng’ang’a who was sitting in for Speaker Bernard Mungata adjourned the House and directed that the report be debated on Tuesday next week.

Given the rivalry between Governor Mutua and his Deputy Bernard Kiala, the report is set to stoke issues in the county as Ndalani MCA Stephen Muthuka is reported to be planning to table a motion to impeach the Governor.

Mutua is also embroiled in a long-standing supremacy war with Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala. According to a World Bank report released early this month, Machakos was among the only 10 counties that spend more than 30 per cent of their resources on development.

-People daily




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