Corruption

Auditor General Exposes Nandi Governor’s Involvement In Funds Embezzlement

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As the country nears the 2022 general elections, Nandi governor Stephen Sang will be having it rough to convince voters to reelect him as he has not completed many projects that he initiated. A section of residents of Nandi living in Nairobi claim that Sang’s administration launched many projects in the county between 2018 and 2021 but nearly all of them have not been completed. They also blamed some of his chief executive committee members of engaging in corruption where contractors who have won bids and have completed their jobs, have not been paid. “We have information that some of the few contractors who completed their work have not been paid and we wonder why it is that they have not received their dues. We know well that after bids are advertised and won, the Treasury releases funds immediately to finance the projects.

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The money has been squandered,” the statement read in part. The statement further went on to say that some of the contributing factors to the county not completing the projects it had started was because some senior officials in the administration were awarding contracts to their relatives and lovers. “Some senior officials at the county among them CECs push for their lovers and cronies to get awards which are not done when started and the money is paid in their accounts which they share,” read the statement.

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The outcry came after the Auditor General questioned the inability by the county government to complete 491 projects valued at Sh1.3 billion in the 2018-19 financial year. Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in her reports on counties says records revealed that the county government allocated the money for the projects but at the time of the audit, only one project had been completed.

Another 110 were on progress and 310 had not started. Gathungu also questioned the stalled construction of the Nandi county government headquarters which began in 2013, at a cost of Sh103 million, but stalled with more than Sh97 million already paid to the contractor who was not on site. In the year under review, the county allocated Sh55 million for the project but later reallocated the money. The Auditor General queried the delayed completion of 60 ECD centres in the county indicating that Sh114.3 million had been paid for the projects but 20pc of the work was yet to be done.

Nancy Gathungu

In her report, the auditor general added that the county used more than Sh319 million on domestic and subsistence travels resulting in an over-expenditure of Sh96.5 million. The over-expenditure was done without approval by the county assembly. She added that the expenditure was an irregularity that led to diversion of public funds that had been budgeted to provide goods and services for residents of Nandi.

The county executive also irregularly paid Sh2.9 million as travel allowances to MCAs to attend a meeting in Mombasa yet the county assembly operates its own budget. “As a result of the irregular payments, the MCAs were made to oversight on monies they had directly benefited from and this action hampered good governance in the county government of Nandi,” the report indicates. The auditor says the county statements indicated payments on acquisition of assets totaling to more than Sh1.9 billion, including an expenditure of Sh1.6 billion used on construction and refurbishment of buildings, roads and infrastructure. No money was set aside from payments to contractors to cover for defects and liabilities.


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