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Wastage of money in counties in Kenya revealed

COUNTIES
By Ally Jamah | June 23rd 2016
(From left)National Taxpayers Association (NTA) chairman Peter Kubebea, Auditor General Edward Ouko(C) and Caroline Othim during the launch of national county citizen report cards today on 22/June/2016 at Safari club hotel at Lillian tower in Nairobi. A new report has brought to the fore massive wastage of taxpayers' money in key projects in six counties. (PHOTO: EDWARD KIPLIMO/ STANDARD)

A new report has brought to the fore massive wastage of taxpayers' money in key projects in six counties.

Dubbed the Citizen's Report Card, the National Taxpayers Association reviewed 1,264 projects in the six counties worth Sh1.7 billion and indicated that at least Sh267.5 million was wasted by county officials.

The wastage emerged from projects that were either badly implemented, abandoned, ghost or duplicated, thereby serving no meaningful purpose in the lives of the public.

The report card assessed how public funds were used by the counties and the  services provided to Kenyans using those funds.

Nyeri had the highest wastage of funds at Sh158.3 million. The county spent Sh8 million on the grading and gravelling of Munyu-Jet Junction Villa Road but the all-weather road had already fallen apart by the time it was assessed in September last year.

Busia County wasted Sh43.4 million while Kwale wasted Sh22.5 million, with Nandi losing Sh21.7 million. Kisumu County not only wasted Sh18 million in projects, but also could not account for at least Sh9 million that was allegedly spent .

The report shows that Kitui wasted Sh3.5 million.

The counties were monitored between June 2015 and June 2016 as part of a project aimed at promoting good governance, transparency and accountability.

The revelations come at a time when the 2016-17 budget allocations to counties have been increased to Sh298.3 billion from Sh276.3 billion.

"Such a huge budget requires robust oversight to curb misappropriation which has, over the years, been documented by the Auditor General. Corruption threatens and affects the country's economic growth and stability" said NTA Chairman Peter Kubebea.

NTA National Co-ordinator Martin Napisa said more queries would have emerged if they had assessed all the 47 counties, but were constrained by lack of capacity and resources.

"The six report cards just give a general picture of what may be happening in all the counties. That is why more effort is needed to ensure prudent management of resources to ensure Kenyans feel a diifference from the funds they pay in taxes," he said.

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