MPs want forensic audit of Sh15b fertiliser subsidy over mismanagement

Public Accounts Committee Chairman John Mbadi flanked by Mathioya MP Dr Edwin Mugo at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has asked the Auditor General to carry out a forensic audit of Sh15 billion granted to the Ministry of Agriculture for fertiliser subsidy.

PAC Chairman John Mbadi, on Tuesday, April 18, said that the committee wanted the Auditor General to find out if the funds voted for by Parliament for fertilizer subsidy were properly utilized since there were reports that they may have been embezzled.

Speaking during a press conference at Parliament Buildings, Mbadi said that the committee wants Auditor General Nancy Gathungu to provide a report in 30 days since there were reports that the funds might not have been used for the intended purpose.

“The Public Accounts Committee does not want to play politics with this matter, that is why we ask the Auditor General to carry out a forensic audit to establish whether Sh15 billion allocated for fertilizer subsidy has been used well since we are getting negative reports,” said Mbadi.

The Nominated MP said that the committee will conduct public hearings where Senior Ministry of Agriculture officials who handled the program will be invited to provide clarification on the program so as to ensure the country does not get into another major scandal.

Mbadi made it clear that the committee will not remain silent as there is a likelihood of funds embezzlement in the process of the purchase of fertiliser subsidy, and also the possibility of money laundering by some officials charged with the responsibility.

Mathioya MP Edwin Mugo said that the fertilizer subsidy was to cushion poor Kenyans to enable them to plant foodstuffs and to ensure that the country was food secure. He added nobody will be allowed to use the funds for unintended purposes since that was taxpayers’ money.

“Several parts of the country have faced famine that led to the lack of food, now that we have rains, farmers must be supported to produce food for all citizens. Fertilizer subsidy is supposed to aid this, that is why we want the prudent expenditure of this fund,” said Mugo.