NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – Embu Governor Martin Wambora was on Thursday tasked to explain how his government spent Sh468 million from the County Revenue Fund(CRF) in the 2017/2018 financial year.
Appearing before the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee to answer audit queries, Wambora admitted that he was not aware of how the money was collected and eventually spent by his county officials.
“Mr Chair, I am not aware, but I will have to ask my people in the Finance Department to show how the money was spent and provide the necessary documents in due course,” said Wambora.
The watchdog committee Chairperson Senator Moses Kajwang’ (Homabay) took issue with governor for what he termed as an “improbable way” of managing public resources.
He questioned how Wambora operates his government, saying he might not be an active governor who follows up on what is happening in all departments and as a result some officials use the opportunity to loot public funds.
“You are perhaps being fed with inaccurate reports, but you are ultimately liable. We have seen more counties getting qualified opinions and you governor must aspire to move your county progressively and it does not matter whether the EACC and the DCI came to your county and found nothing. Maybe you just know how to hide it because the auditor has clearly stated that something is amiss and there are a lot of shenanigans going on in Embu,” Kajwang’ stated.
His sentiments were seconded by Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi and his Narok counterpart Ledama Ole Kina who were also convinced that Wambora might not be following up everything that happens in his government.
“We have got documents being presented three months after the financial year has been closed. This is something that is in violation of what is required by the Auditor General and at this point, it is even harder to authenticate these documents not unless we request for a special audit for us to be factual,” Ole Kina suggested.
On his part, Wamatangi was astonished at how a governor was not aware of how over Sh400 million was collected and used without his knowledge.
“Governor, with all fairness and respect, your presentation and all the questions raised by the Auditor General shows that there are many gaps in your county, and you are personally not in touch with your county matters,” said Wamatangi.
In his audit report for the financial year ending June 2018, Auditor General Edward Ouko queried the statement of receipts and payments for the year under review in respect to Sh468,262,521.
According to Ouko, no supporting documents including bank statements were availed for audit review in support of the same.
“In the circumstances, the accuracy and authenticity of the returned CRF issues, balance of Sh468,262,521 for the year ended June 30, 2018 could not be confirmed,” he stated as he delivered an adverse opinion on the Embu County Executive financial accounts.
The county was given an adverse opinion by the Auditor General, meaning, financial statements were misrepresented, misstated and did not accurately reflect the county’s financial performance.