How MCAs schemed to loot public funds before ouster

Details have emerged how former Kisumu MCAs went on a looting spree before they were overwhelmingly voted out by the electorate.

A report by Auditor General Edward Ouko has revealed glaring discrepancies in the use of assembly’s resources including flouting laws to withdraw some Sh175 million to pay MCAs and staff.

The amount was part of the funds the MCAs received in a list that also included payments of over Sh300 million for illegal sittings. The assembly officials also overstated un-presented cheques with up to Sh5 million.

The discrepancies could help explain why for instance the current County Assembly found some Sh52 million for car and mortgages missing from the coffers.

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During the period under review, the county assembly reportedly spent about Sh654 million to offset recurrent expenditure.

According to Ouko, as at June 30, 2017, the assembly had about Sh1.1 billion in the coffers. Bank statements however indicate that some of the payments made by the assembly in cash were never reflected in the cash books while others were duplicated.

During the period under review, Sh6.2 million was recorded as foreign travel expenditure. The amount was part of the Sh64 million the MCAs used for foreign travel.

Another report by the Controller of Budget also indicated that the Ward reps spent more on foreign trips in the 2016/2017 financial year than in the 2015/2016 financial year.

In May 2017, the MCAs visited Rwanda, Singapore, and Malaysia. A firm was paid some Sh9.7 million to facilitate the Rwanda and Singapore trips.

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Ouko noted that in the Rwanda trip, the former speaker was paid Sh4 million to “facilitate the trip.”

“The said cheque was drawn in favor of the speaker and deposited in her personal account,” he said.

The trips sharply divided the House, with some MCAsaccusing former Speaker Anne Adul of dictating not only the destinations but those who made it to the list.

The MCAs also held special sittings to compensate for the days they missed to debate House business that had been affected by lack of quorum, including the county’s budget.

The Auditor General’s report said the former MCAs received double allowances including some Sh648,900 million for attending over two committee meetings at the same time.

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The assembly spent about Sh3.7 million on extraneous allowances. “The payments were not taxed. There was also no approval for extra hours worked to justify the payments,” said Ouko.

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Edward OukoKisumu MCAsAuditor GeneralController of BudgetPublic Funds