Audit saves Laikipia county from losing Sh500M to ghost contractors and suppliers

Laikipia County Assembly during its opening in 2017. [Photo by Jacinta Mutura/Standard]

Laikipia county came close to losing Sh500 million to ghost contractors and suppliers.

The county inherited a bill of Sh1.1 billion from the previous regime.

But according to the acting Chief of Staff Karanja Njora, an ongoing audit on all pending bills has found that nearly half of the claimants do not have documents to back their claims.

Mr Njora was speaking in a meeting where he was summoned by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain why the county had delayed payments for services rendered.

Accompanied by Finance Executive Murungi Ndai, Njora said out of the 908 pending bills inherited from the previous administration, 434 had no supporting documents.

“Some of these contracts were issued verbally, yet they want us to pay Sh500 million. Some of the payment demands are highly exaggerated,” he said.

Njora told the committee that contractors were yet to complete projects awarded, citing a case where a contract was given to rehabilitate 15km of roads but only five kilometres were repaired.

He maintained that the county would not pay bills that cannot be accounted for, pointing out that current and former employees could be responsible for the phantom projects.

Five contractors and four county officers from the finance and infrastructure departments are being investigated for billing ghost projects.