Following the revelation by the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee that Kiambu County government could have spent billions of shillings on functions that are purely under the national government mandates, several counties incriminated in the same illegalities have reacted to the allegations that have shaken the nation.
Nyeri County Government, The Standard reported, allocated Sh182.7 million to rail transport, Sh264 million to free primary education, Sh233.7 million to the Government Chemist and Sh910 million to State Corporation Advisory Services.
County authorities, Nyeri, say the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) is purely to blame.
The specific item of budget allocation in question, according to Nyeri County Government, is the creation of the IFMIS.
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According to Nyeri County Executive Committee member, Robert Mwangi, so erroneous is the IFMIS system that when one keys in a county government program, the IFMIS alters the program to a national government parent program.
“There is the challenge of the flow of information from the IFMIS Hyperion module and the IFMIS General Ledger where some information of related to the newly created spending units is altered by the system in the process based on the parent programs,” said Mwangi.
According to Mwangi, the problem faced by Nyeri county and other affected counties on budget allocation is as a result of IFMIS inability to recognize County programs such that any given county cannot give a specific item of budget allocation its rightful vote head.
“Programs and sub-programs are based on the Classification of Functions of Government (COFOG) that classifies expenditure data from the System of National Accounts by the purpose for which the funds are used. The counties have to realign to the COFOG for standard reporting and budget execution,” said Mwangi.
But even as Nyeri County officials blame IFMIS, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, who spoke to Standard Digital on phone opined that such claims are baseless and unfounded.
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“I have not fully gotten the information about budget allocations out of Counties mandate. But on IFMIS, the basic principle of computing is that what you key in is what you get. So, what did those county governments on spot key on IFMIS? Why are they the only counties being incriminated out of the 47 counties?” wondered Senator Wambua.
Laikipia County Finance Executive Murungi Nadi, whose county was also implicated in the allocation of funds to primary, day secondary and university education, termed the findings as a “big mistake”.
“The budget we presented to the Controller of the Budget had no such items. The Auditor General Report is erroneous. Someone must have put such items to achieve some end,” said Nadi.
Kiambu County Governor Ferdinand Waititu, whose questioning by the Senate team revealed the scandalous allocation, also disowned the report on his county, terming it a mystery.
“The way these allocations found their way into the document is still a mystery to us. The allocation is not from us since all those vote heads are from the national government’s function,” Waititu told the committee.
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Interestingly, despite all these glaring illegalities, the auditor general did not raise queries over such allocations, with the majority of those counties, including Kiambu County, receiving a clean bill of health in the auditor general report.
As the nation is waiting for answers, Senator Wambua is suspicious that the matter may explode into one of the biggest scandals in Kenya pitting the Treasury, county governments and the Controller of Budget.
An analysis done by The Standard on county expenditures revealed Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Kiambu Muranga, Nyamira and Samburu are among the latest counties on spot over hefty budget allocations totalling to at least Sh3.8 billion on functions under the national government.
For instance, Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties allocated Sh182.7 million and 50 million respectively to rail transport, yet there is no railway service in the region.
The colonial railway to Nanyuki is no more. Passenger trains from Nairobi can go as far as Thika.
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Despite the fact that free primary education is the function of the National Government, Nyamira and Kirinyaga counties allocated Sh305 million and Sh180.5 million to free primary education. To add insult to the injury Kirinyaga allocated Sh344.6 million to State House affairs.
Murang’a County was not left behind in the bizarre expenditure, using Sh2.95 million to build assistant chiefs’ camps, refurbishing DCI and Deputy County AP Commander homes, a mandate fully under the national government.
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