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PAC summons finance CEC over irregular payment of pending bills

NEWS
By Josphat Thiong’o | May 8th 2020
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko with CEC Finance executuve Allan Igambi, when they appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee on audit queries in Parliament, on December 3, 2018. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A watchdog committee has summoned Nairobi County Finance and Economic Planning Executive Allan Igambi over alleged irregular payment of pending bills to suppliers and contractors in the past four months.

Igambi is also being sought after to shed more light on the expenditure relating to the 62nd Commission on Status of Women (CSW) 2018 Conference which was attended by Governor Mike Sonko’s wife Primrose Mbuvi and daughter Saumu Mbuvi. The conference was held in New York, US.

The Nairobi County Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday issued a summons against the finance chief after he failed to honour previous invitations – with the most recent invitation being on Monday this week -- to appear before the committee to answer to the financial irregularities flagged between December 31, 2019 and March 25, 2020.

Details of Payments

Committee chairman, Wilfred Odalo said Igambi was now required to appear before the committee on Tuesday May 12, 2020 to give details of payments made to suppliers and contractors for March 17 to March 25, 2020 as extracted from internet banking records and the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

He is also expected to provide copies of all forms B submitted to, and approved by Controller of Budget for the period ending March 25, 2020 from December 31, 2019 as well as payment plans/schedules for the same period.

Odalo however noted that Igambi had blatantly disregarded the committee’s invitations, consequently making it hard for the committee to access the information aimed at preventing potential loss of public funds.

“At its sitting on May 6, 2020, the committee resolved that Mr Allan Esabwa Igambi, the County Executive Member for Finance and Economic Planning be summoned and to appear before the committee and provide the aforementioned information on Tuesday May 12, 2020,” read a letter from the chairman, addressed to the Office of the Clerk.

The summons comes amidst an investigation into claims that the county government paid foreign travel expenses for Sonko’s close relatives.

Two committees, the Public Accounts and Finance and Budget select committees are conducting a joint probe on allegations that Sh2.4 million was used to facilitate a 2018 trip to New York by Sonko’s wife Primrose Mbuvi and daughter Saumu Agnes Mbuvi.

This was after Kitusuru MCA Alvin Palapala asked for a statement from the two committees with regards to expenditure on the 62nd CSW 2018 conference in New York on March 12 and 23, 2018.

Palapala on March 11 tabled evidence alleging that the county spent Sh800,000 on Saumu for airtickets, hotel accommodation and per diem. In separate documents, however, it emerged that the Ministry of Public Service had cleared the duo to travel for the women’s conference.

This was revealed through a letter by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and addressed to Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia, clearing Primerose and Saumu to be part of the delegation to New York.

Speaker Beatrice Elachi consequently directed the joint committee to look into the allegations and file a report.  

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