NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – The Senate County Public accounts and Investment Committee has directed the Auditor General to conduct a special audit for the 2017/2018 financial year in Kiambu County and submit a report within 45 days.
This is after it emerged that the county has budget lines for coordination of State House functions amounting to Sh937,839,449 and Administration of Statutory benefits for retired Presidents of Sh180,506,800 among others.
Committee Chairperson Senator Moses Kajwang’ (Homabay) made the ruling after the Governor Ferdinand Waititu said he was not aware of such accounts and promised that investigation will be done.
“Considering the grave issues, we have raised on the audit report and accompanying financial documents, this committee directs the Auditor General to undertake a special report of Kiambu County government for the financial year 2017/2018 and submit the report within 45 days. We shall have a side discussion with the auditors on how to practically carry out this exercise,” Kajwang’ directed.
Waititu who had a difficult time defending his county said accounts and figures might have been doctored by his political opponents who are malicious and want to paint him as a corrupt governor vowing not to take responsibility for the “misleading” budget lines.
“I am refusing page 17 and 18. I do not know where those figures and accounts came from and you well know it is not possible for counties to finance any State House function because we do not have budgets for that. This is something that has been done without my knowledge just to make my administration look bad,” stated Waititu.
His defence was however not well taken by the committee members who blamed the governor of not being in touch with his county matters saying he cannot deny documents which has been signed by his county officials as authentic.
“Do you ever go through your county’s accounts or even read these documents because I do not understand how you submitted documents which are already signed by your people then you deny you do not know anything about them while pointing fingers,” Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi wondered.
The committee members further faulted the Auditor General’s qualified opinion on Kiambu county which means that the county finances were well spent but the information provided is limited in scope and the county did not maintain accounting principles.
They argued that the county has ghosts accounts which need to be taken seriously and those involved in misuse of public money held responsible.
Other budgets which the governor could not account for include, Kenya South Sudan Advisory Services amounting to Sh58 million and free primary education for Sh800 million which left Senators wondering where the money could have gone.
“I would advise you governor to take time and go through your financial statements because these issues which have been raised here are serious. The documents you are saying you are not aware of, bear signatures of your officials and it is what was submitted to the auditor general so please go through every single document and give us your county’s true financial position,” Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri advised.
Meanwhile, Kajwang’ further called on the Auditor General to table in Parliament and County Assembly audited accounts for the alcoholic Initiative in Kiambu commonly known as “Kaa Sober” within seven days.