CoB, county finance boss on the spot after paying Sh280m

Thursday, March 26th, 2020 00:00 |
Nairobi MCAs Wilfred Odalo (Matopeni) consults with Clerk of the PAC Committee Sammy Kiplimo Kiptoo, yesterday. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Bernard Gitau and Irene Githinji 

The Controller of Budget and Nairobi County Executive Member for Finance Alan Igambi were yesterday hard pressed to explain claims that more than Sh280 million was lost through payments of irregular pending bills.

Consequently, the Nairobi County Assembly Majority and Minority leaders Charles Thuo and David Mberia respectively were also put to task to prove that money may have been lost through massive payments to suppliers, service providers and contractors.

Appearing before a special sitting convened by the County Assembly Public Account Committee yesterday, Thuo was under pressure to provide details of how the payments were made after he told the committee chaired by Wilfred Odalo that millions of shillings could have been lost this month through irregular payment of garbage collection tenders.

“The fund alleged to have been released to environment department was supposed to pay 28 companies dealing with construction amounting to Sh208 million,” Thuo said and asked the committee to conduct special audit in the next 14 days.

However Thuo was unable to table the documents to support his claims, prompting the members to further summon the CoB and the finance minister next week.

The PAC chairman said:  “They should furnish the committee with documents in relation to the payments made between March 17 to 25 of this month.”

On Tuesday, in a rejoinder, Sonko accused Mberia and Thuo of ignorance saying the county is fully functional and properly constituted as a County under the Constitution, the recent transfer of some functions notwithstanding.

He urged the two to also desist from invoking names just for purposes of remaining relevant.

Sonko saidinance and economic planning is not one of the functions transferred to the National Government and as such, all past, present and future obligations remain the responsibility of the Nairobi City County Government until it is established otherwise by law.

He also claimed the the are cartels that frustrated the reorganisation of the Finance and Economic Planning Department since December 2019, until only last Friday, March 20 when the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) effected the new changes upon the advisory of the Office of the Attorney General through the Solicitor General.

“The two MCAs are emerging as a part and parcel of cartels that frustrated reorganisation of finance and economic planning department since December last year, until only last week when the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) effected the new changes upon the advisory of the Office of the Attorney General through the Solicitor General,” Sonko stated.

Through that period of confusion spanning four months, Sonko said the two were among the people who benefited from illicit and criminal payments made by officers who had long ceased to work for the Nairobi City County Government, a matter currently under investigation by DCI and the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit (BFI). 

“It is unfortunate that these two have chosen to become the voice of the cartels who either got paid illegally, or who had their fake claims lined up for payment.

What we are witnessing today are cries of a bitter and cornered lot who collected money from suppliers and contractors with promises of facilitating their payments, and now they are stranded since the changes of signatory mandates at the CBK,” Sonko said.

Adding: “I urge the two MCAs to desist from invoking names just for purpose of sounding juicy and attractive, including that of Abdalla.

As it stands, the transition is going on smoothly and we have a cordial working relationship with Abdalla and do not require disruption of idlers struggling to resuscitate their near-dead political careers.”

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