Taxpayers could lose Sh10b to stalled projects

Monday, September 9th, 2019 00:06 |
The construction site of the stalled Kimwarer dam in Elgeyo Marakwet. Stalled projects may cost Kenyans more than Sh9.6 billion. Photo/PD/RAPHAEL MUNGE

The taxpayers risk losing more than Sh9.6 billion spent on projects that have stalled, the Auditor General’s latest report indicates.

The report for the 2017/18 financial raised the red flag over huge expenditure on government projects that had either stalled or remained incomplete long after the contract period elapsed.

In some instances, the report says,  payments were made for work not done denying Kenyans value for money.

State ministries and agencies whose projects have stalled include the National Treasury, Health ministry, departments for Planning and Statistics, Public Works, Environment, Energy, Labour and Social Protection as well as the Judiciary 

“The expenditure incurred for the stalled projects translates to ineffective use of public resources as the projects are not achieving their intended purpose,” reads the report in part. 

Dam scandal

The State Department for Planning and Statistics is fingered over Sh4.3 billion advance payment for construction on controversial Arror dam, yet no works had been done on the ground.

The queries on the dam as well as the stalled Kimwarer led to the arrest and prosecution of suspended Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich and his Principal secretary Kamau Thugge in July.

At the Environment department, the audit report highlighted the stalled Sh14.5 million construction of model county office in Embu by the Kenya Meteorological Department.

The Health ministry is on the spot over  the Sh723.7 million construction of Othaya District Hospital, which the auditor regretted no project progress reports had been availed for review.

The ministry reported an expenditure on the hospital of Sh145.1 million during the 2016/17 financial year, but the cost soared to Sh723.7 million by June 30, 2017 against initial contract  sum Sh436. 3 million. No explanation was given for the variation.

 The Public Works department has various stalled projects including the Lamu Police Station and Management Housing. 

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