Governor Godhana fails to explain how he spent Sh3 billion in five years

Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana when he appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee(CPAIC) over audit queries. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana had a rough time explaining to the Senate Public Accounts Committee how more than Sh3 billion was spent by his administration without the necessary documentation to support it.

Senators Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay), Samson Cherargey (Nandi), Danson Mungatana (Tana River), Richard Onyonka (Kisii), John Methu (Nyandarua), Edwin Sifuna (Nairobi), Mwenda Gataya (Tharaka Nithi) and Okiya Omtatah (Busia) put the governor to the task.

Godhana, who appeared before the Committee Chaired by Senator Kajwang yesterday, did not have much to show for development for the past five years he has been in office.

The Senators termed it a matter of grave concern to the residents of hardship county. Kajwang said the committee was disappointed in the performance of Governor Godhana, who previously served as a Senior Military Officer and Member of Parliament. His presentation, according to Kajwang, failed to answer many questions.

"The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should interrogate the financial expenditure in Tana River County for the last five years since there are a lot of discrepancies with more than Sh 3 billion not accounted for. Those found culpable should face the law," said Kajwang.

A report by the Auditor General for the financial year ended June 2019, pointed out the county had Sh1.75 billion in unaccounted-for funds for development projects with the county executive allocating Sh1.9 billion for the implementation of development projects during the period.

The county government had declared pending bills of Sh2.42 billion but did not disclose the period they relate to, or details of the goods, works and services delivered or rendered.

The executive was not maintaining creditors ledgers showing creditor's movement from Sh1.67 billion in the previous financial year to the current Sh2.42 billion.

"The documents presented by the Tana River County government to this committee are a copy-paste of one audit query to answer another. The management is only able to support the expenditure of only Sh178.3 million resulting in a difference of Sh1.75 billion which cannot be supported," said Kajwang, the committee chairman.

The documents presented before the Senate showed that the county executive paid Sh206 million for the purchase of four pieces of firefighting equipment, even before the inspection of the equipment, taking over and final acceptance certificate was issued as required by the contract agreement.

The county was also on the spot over the irregular reallocation of Sh247 million on the use of goods and services and the acquisition of assets without proper description.

Further, they did not provide relevant supporting documents such as requisitions from user departments, invoices, and certificates of completion.

The Auditor General's report further highlighted a Sh 66.2 million variances in compensation of employees' data captured in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Data (IPPD) and excel payroll.

The report showed that Sh29.2 million was paid to officers who attended workshops and seminars as domestic travel and subsistence and other transportation costs, yet supporting records revealed the officers were fully sponsored by the organisers.

The county government also used Sh26.2 million in the hiring of motor vehicles with the county not being able to provide relevant documents including lease approvals, quotations, lease agreements and logbooks.

Godhana, in his defence, told the committee that he is yet to fully constitute his cabinet and the County Executive Committee member who had accompanied him had not been vetted despite discharging official duties.

"I blame my opponents for having moles in government who are sabotaging the good work that I am doing for the people of Tana River for the last five years," said Godhana.