An officer in the State Department for Planning earned in excess of Sh174,454 every month for almost a year, the Auditor General told the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee yesterday.
According to the appointment letter, the officer whose identity was not disclosed was employed in 2019 and was meant to be paid Sh290,758 but ended up earning Sh465,212.
“You only stopped this anomaly once the auditor raised the issue. This is fraud and this is a matter that should be taken up by the graft agency,” said Committee Chairman and Ugunja MP, Opiyo Wandayi.
Trying to salvage the situation, the state department’s Principal Secretary, Saitoti Torome, explained that the error arose from the appointment letter which mixed up the payment of the said officer and that of a senior officer plus the fact that the officer was aware of earning higher pay and chose to remain silent on the matter.
However, the PS stated that following the red flag by the Auditor General, a repayment system has already begun in an attempt to recoup the Sh2,343,507 lost.
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“You cannot clean this issue with repayment. This is now a matter of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission,” said Wandayi.
The MP hinted at a bigger scheme stating that those paying the employee were aware and that the money had to have been budgeted for.
“The money can’t come from anywhere,” said Wandayi. “It was budgeted for.”
The Ugunja MP directed the state department’s officials to appear before the committee next week with the necessary documents that led to the illegal salary discrepancy.