Government to sack agency heads over diversion of funds

Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok speaking in Nairobi on September 20, 2023. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

The government has threatened to sack the Chief Executive Officer of government agencies for failing to declare revenues collected on the eCitizen platform.

Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Julius Bitok has said that they have noted a variance between the collected revenue and what has been reflected on the online platform.

“The revenues have gone up from around Sh60 million per day to around Sh250-Sh300 million per day. But the story is not consistent with what the government wants. We have realized that we have a higher potential than that,” said Bitok.

Bitok said an analysis of the potential revenue from over 11,000 services on eCitizen against declared amounts pointed to the diversion of collected money.

He said the discrepancy in cash payments for services was against President William Ruto's directive to process all online payments for government service through pay bill 222222.

“We are having conversations with the Central Bank and the banks. We have noted clearly that there are agencies who have decided to cheat the system and pay cash,” he said.

According to Bitok, investigations show that funds paid in cash were being banked in accounts that were not linked to eCitizen and warned of sanctions against the ones who will be found culpable.

“Let it not be you who will be found yourself not being able to comply and you have to explain and sometimes you may even have to lose your job because you’re not able to do what is supposed to be done.”

President Ruto issued the directive on June 30, 2022, directing all government agencies to stop processing payments through the existing pay bills and start processing the payments through 222222.

According to Treasury, there has been a rise in revenue collected via eCitizen, in October Sh4.6 billion was collected up from ShSh4.2 billion collected in September compared to June when the government collected Sh1.4 billion.

These amounts collected are below the Sh1.5 trillion target from online services.

“Where we are going now if you don’t meet some of these things, there will be consequences. Some people will bear personal responsibilities for failure to do the right thing,” said Bitok.