Deputy President William Ruto has ordered a thorough audit of all the furniture, staff and equipment previously assigned to the Office of the Prime Minister Raila Odinga andVice President Kalonzo Musyoka as well as the official residence situated in Karen Nairobi.
Ruto’s directive follows reports that some of the staff working in these offices may have carted away some crucial equipment including, laptops, printers, printing papers, office and house furnishings bought with taxpayers money for the office and the former VP’s residence.
Ruto also wants an audit of the accounts of all government departments previously under the docket of the PM and the VP as well as a complete inventory and status report of the vehicles and staff assigned to these offices.
As deputy President, Ruto will take up the responsibilities previously shared between Raila and Kalonzo. One of his main responsibilities will be to coordinate and supervise cabinet secretaries, a function that was being executed by the PM.
Ruto has already taken over the Shell BP house along Harambee Avenue which used to be the PM’s office. He is also expected to moved into the palatial Karen residence which took eight years to build at a staggering Sh400 million.
â€œMheshimiwa has ordered for a thorough audit and investigations in all the departments that were under the watch of Raila and Kalonzo. Stock taking is going on,â€ said one of Rutoâ€™s aides who did not want to be identified.
Those instructed to carry out the audit include officials from the Office of the Auditor General, the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA). Each office is also required to carry out its independent audit.
The audit follows complaints by junior staff from the two offices that they had been instructed to pack and cart away some state resources during the transition period.
A secretary in one of the two offices being audited said she witnessed aides of one of the officials take away a printer which she had been using.
“Some people came and said they wanted to take the printer which was in our office. I told them that the printer is government property and they left.They came back after a while and l got a call from a higher office within who told me to release the printer,” she said. She declined to be named for fear she might be victimized.
Government spokesman Muthui Karuki said the audit was being conducted to ensure that all the assets deployed to the government offices were intact. He said anyone found to have taken such assets will be held to account.
â€œThere is a lot of movement in government offices now and we have heard of such rumors. Anyone who will be found to have done such illegal things will be dealt with according to the law and will account for all the mess,” Kariuki said.
In one incident, a driver deployed to one of the offices is alleged to have driven off with a mini-van which was reported missing the next day.
However, senior officials who were informed ordered an end to any investigations to locate the missing vehicle. Government regulations state that all vehicles be parked at their designated parking areas or at the nearest police station.
The audit will also establish reports that furniture purchased for use in the Deputy President’s residence had also been removed after the Jubilee coalition won the election.
Contacted, the Transition Authority chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi said he will wait until the audit was completed before he commented on the reports. The TA is responsible for facilitating and coordinating the transition to the devolved system of government.
Wamwangi said some of the equipment taken away from the offices such as laptops may have belonged to the occupants of these offices.
He also hazarded a guess that some of the things were moved out of the office of the former PM to pave way for the incoming staff of the Deputy President.
â€œThough TA cannot interfere with the day to day activities of ministries, those might be ministerial activities which were taking place,â€ Wamwangi said. He said there could be nothing wrong if the equipment was moved as long as those responsible accounted for them.