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Black hole in which billions of shillings disappear

COUNTIES
By - Lillian Kiarie | October 9th 2013

By Lillian Kiarie

KENYA :The audit report by the Auditor General has revealed a black hole located somewhere between the Kenya Revenue Authority, the Central Bank of Kenya and the Treasury in which billions of shillings disappear.

Mr Edward Ouko, the auditor general, said there are unexplained discrepancies between statement balances from KRA and the exchequer records maintained at Treasury.

Ouko said that the financial statements given by the Exchequer which refer to the Central Bank of Kenya and revenues collected from tax payers did not balance, raising questions about whether there was a particular body that was siphoning public funds to their own private coffers.

Revenue statements show substantial balances of revenue amounting to approximately Sh 900m not having been received in the Exchequer Account.

 “An examination of the budgetary performance shows that there was under expenditure of about Sh1billion under the recurrent vote due to inadequate exchequer issues, and Sh31 million on the development vote due to delayed disbursement of donor funds,” Mr Ouko said.

Development revenue

The Auditor General decried a shortfall in development revenue for the year under review as shown in the revenue accounts,

 “The Revenue accounts demonstrate a shortfall of development revenue by 49 per cent which translated to approximately Sh26 billion.  This under-collection was due to non-release of funds by development partners and low absorption of funds by projects and programmes,” he said.

He added that the balance sheet of monies coming in should balance with that of monies being disseminated to the public.

Financial analyst Kariithi Murimi said that the money lost by the Government as noted by the report was close to that being borrowed by the Government from the Chinese government. “Over Sh418billion will be wasted from our Sh1.6trillion budget if the same misappropriation of funds happens this year,” he said.  Kariithi said that the poor procurement process, lack of accountability and evidence for work paid for in government offices were some of the key causes of funds embezzlement.

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