Nairobi Water’s Sh33m MCA perks queried

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Economy

Nairobi Water’s Sh33m MCA perks queried

Nairobi City Water
Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company signage in Industrial Area. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company irregularly paid ward representatives Sh33.2 million allowances for work that had nothing to do with the utility firm.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko has flagged out the expenditure by the company in documents tabled at the Senate.

The MCAs’ allowances are catered for under the county assembly kitty, raising questions why the water provider paid out the perks.

“Examination of accounting documents revealed that a total of Sh33.26 million was irregularly paid to members of the county assembly in form of allowances to carry out legislative and oversight duties,” said Mr Ouko.

The allowances were paid in the year to June when the Nairobi MCAs earned an average of Sh48,130 a month in sitting allowance, down from Sh123,000.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had also cut MCA allowances for assembly duties, lowering their pay.

However, the High Court reversed the allowances cut.

Mr Ouko said the company did not provide any authority to support payment of the allowances to MCAs. The water utility operates as a subsidiary of City Hall but under the watch of Athi Water Services Board.

The firm has in recent years grappled with revenue leakages due to illegal water connections and ageing network.

A report by the Nairobi County Assembly Public Investments Committee revealed the company loses more than Sh1 billion annually due to water theft, faulty meters, billing errors and illegal connections.

The report also showed that the firm lost more than Sh152 million in 2017 as a result of billing errors, underpayments and meter tampering.

According to the report, Nairobi Water billed only 112,787,608 cubic metres of water out of the 181,363,932 cubic metres of water the firm produced in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

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