By Mangoa Mosota
A donor’s report on an NGO dealing with male circumcision has unearthed widespread misappropriation of funds.
As a result, the annual funding may be slashed from over Sh500 million to less than Sh100 million.
Following the budget cut, Nyanza Reproductive Health Society (NRHS) has dismissed 250 workers.
“The management of NRHS would like to notify you that your employment contract, which expires on 30th September, 2012 will not be renewed. However, you can show interest by reapplying for the same,” states a letter to one of the staff members.
The organisation’s director, Walter Obiero said the action has been taken due to cut in funding. He, however, declined to state annual funding to the body since its inception three years ago. But employees The Standard spoke to gave the figure of Sh595 million.
The report dated August 21, 2012, of which The Standard has a copy, details massive financial impropriety. The assessment was done by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, US. They are Procurement and Grant Office (PGO), and Programme Budget and Extramural Management Branch. CDC offers technical support to NRHS, which is based in Kisumu, with operations spread across the country.
CDC has categoriosed NRHS as a ‘high-risk’ organisation, which means that other donors should be wary of it. “NRHS is required to work with CDC Kenya on revising their application to conform to the decreased scope of activities,” reads part of the report.
Among the impropriety is that NRHS went outside its approved CDC budget, and purchased 25 vehicles without CDC or NRHS Board of Directors consent.
“The organisation can spend Sh1 million on imprest, in less than two weeks. Our assessment found gross mismanagement of the funds. HRHS does not have a limit on the amount of petty cash,” states part of the report that is signed by Shirley Wynn of PGO.
Furthermore, the report reveals contract salaries for workers differ from those they are paid. For instance, an employee’s salary is Sh35,280, but the contract amount is Sh25,000 although the report finding states that the difference can be accounted for.
NRHS is one of the major bodies working with the Government on Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision.
The programme is in the last year of the first phase, where the Government’s aim was to reach 860,000 men of ages 15 to 49 in five years.