Keeping Your Business in Mind

Auditor General puts Mung’aro on the spot over irregular payments


The Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has flagged irregular payments and procurement of material by the Kilifi County Government.

The 2022/2023 audit indicates that the county could not account for Kshs.177, 094,193 which was paid in respect of specialized materials and services and Kshs.298, 029,333 paid for construction of roads.

In regard to the supply of seeds, the county paid Kshs.27, 777,000 paid out in respect of seeds, fertilizers, farm implements, chemicals and fungicides. The audit reveals that the expenditure was not supported with proof of how the beneficiaries were identified, confirmation of ownership of land by the beneficiaries and evidence that the Department of Agriculture conducted tests to ascertain viability, quality and suitability of the fertilizer and pesticides for the soils and crops before procurement was done.

The counter also failed to provide a duly signed needs assessment report, mandatory compliance documents such as valid tax compliance certificate, certificate of incorporation and signed 22 business questionnaire as set out in the evaluation criteria and evidence of public participation.

The audit also raised questions on how an amount of Kshs.62,000,000 was paid to Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) for medical supplies.

“Review of payment vouchers and other supporting documents revealed that the items purchased were not taken on charge vide counter receipt voucher (S13) contrary to Section 162(1) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015,”

The row over supply of seeds and subsequent payment to the supplier involved was a thorny issue in the county during the 2023 planting season after a section of the MCAs lamented supply of poor seeds.

The MCAs were at war with a supplier identified as Esther P. Thongori Easther P Thongori alias Hadassah over the supply of seeds.

It emerged that the tender was given under the AGPO policy that targets to boost companies owned by youths, women and persons with disability.

An alarm was raised over the AGPO certificate she provided which was deemed fake as well as the license to supply those seeds , she did not attach the license.

The then procurement head known as Matano had helped her get through with the tender award.

The audit further shows thatan amount of Kshs.14,992,177 was incurred in the purchase of certified seeds, breeding stock and live animals.

However, evidence of market survey having been undertaken, the criteria for identification of beneficiaries, report on need assessment and sustainability of the projects before they were procured were not provided for audit.

“In addition, the legal framework under which certified seeds, breeding stock and live animals were bought using County funds and distributed at no cost was not provided while evidence of receipt and distribution of all the tree seedlings and certified seeds was also not provided for audit,”

This according to the AG was contrary to Section 104 of the County Government Act, 2012 which provides that a County Government shall plan 16 for the County and no public funds shall be appropriated outside a planning framework developed by the County Executive Committee and approved by the County Assembly and that to promote public participation, non-state actors shall be incorporated in the planning processes by all authorities.

The county has consistently been on the spot over how its procurement policies where Lohim Limited and Capital Solutions were flagged for having benefited from rogue tenders.

Capital Solutions also won a tender worth Ksh80m to supply relief food under the drought mitigation programme.The tender was also flagged over irregularities.

At the same time, the audit has revealed that Kshs.30, 907,943 was paid to various contractors for construction of major roads, gravelling, grading, bush clearing and opening access roads within the County.

However, the contractors project files did not have tax compliance certificate, certificate of incorporation, NCA certificate, bid bond, experience of previous work of similar magnitude and signed business questionnaire as set out in the evaluation criteria. Further, the requisition from the user department was not supported with survey report and the project implementation status for the year under review.

“In addition, the budget and procurement plan did not specify the road works which were to be done but instead indicated aggregated amount in respect of access roads and construction of roads. In the circumstances, value for money on the expenditure of Kshs.298, 029,333 on construction of roads could not be confirmed,”

Still on roads, Kshs.79,982,000 paid for rehabilitation of Madogo market access road to cabro standards.

However, as per the evaluation report, the only bidder who responded was evaluated and awarded the contract contrary to the procurement regulations.

“Further, the summary of statement of payments indicated that the value of work certified was worth Kshs.78,149,200.

However, the entire contract sum of Kshs.79,982,000 was paid less VAT and retention instead of amount certified amount,” the audit reads

Meanwhile a section of the MCAs who spoke on request of anonymity have called on the DCI and the Asset Recovery Agency to probe close allies of the governor and suppliers he uses as proxies.

They have named a supplier by the name Francis Ngala and Mung’aros close aide turned enemy Loise Makena.

Makena and Ngala recently won a tender for garbage collection in Mtwapa area which the MCAs want probed.

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