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Kericho's Sh450m pending bills are fake, report reveals

Kericho Governor Eric Korir (center) flanked by his Deputy and members of the tea taskforce formed to look at the issues on tea mechanisation. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A report on the Kericho County government shows Sh450 million pending bills could be fictitious.

Speaking after receiving the report from the Pending Bills Committee, which covered the period between 2015-2016 and 2021-2022, Governor Dr Eric Mutai disclosed that only Sh50 million was currently eligible for payment.

“For three years, the bursary funds were not released with the money ending up in the pockets of cartels in the county. They could not even spare the funds meant to purchase pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical at the local hospitals. The corrupt individuals will now pay for it,” he said.

The findings in the pending bills report seen by The Standard stated that approved requisitions were not attached in most documents- a mandatory requirement to commence the procurement process.

The Rev Edwin Too-led committee also found that the tender opening, evaluation, inspection, and acceptance Committee reports were either not attached, fully signed, or dated.

“Professional opinion was not signed by the Head of Procurement as provided for in the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act 2015 Section 84 (1),” the report reads.

The seven-member committee also noted that notification of award letters to the contractors or suppliers were not attached or signed.

Also, of great concern, completion and payment certificates were neither signed nor attached by the concerned engineers.

“The sequencing of procurement processes did not comply with the procurement laws. For instance, notification of the award was on September 14, 2020, date of acceptance and Signing of Contract on the same day, clearly breaching the PPAD, 2015 Section 135(3),” said Dr Mutai.

From the site visits, the committee observed in the Kapsuser ward that the Kap Peter -Mosorian -Kap Joshua Road, was poorly done despite having been completed in FY 2021/2022.

“In the construction of Kawangware ECDE toilet at Kamasian ward, a pit was dug and not covered posing a danger to pupils, teachers and the local community,” the report indicates.

It further pointed out that Morau Bakery ECDE toilet in Kamasian ward was proposed to be a nonexisting ECDE center. The site has a maize plantation. 

“The committee visited the Magiroi water project in Kapkugerwet ward and noted that the water collection point and the cattle trough were constructed on private land. Furthermore, there is no access road to the site,” the report indicates.

The engineer report and the recommendations on the site visit noted that the Koibarak ECDE classroom in Chepseon ward was constructed without adhering to building standards and should, therefore, be demolished for posing danger to the pupils and teachers.