STAGGERING SH 14 BILLION LOOTED AT MOMBASA COUNTY

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Mombasa county government cannot account for more than Sh14 billion allocated for development money believed to have either been looted or misappropriated during the financial year 2016/2017.

According to Auditor General’s report for year ending June 30 2017, the figures in the financial statement for Mombasa county government presented for audit review, contained discrepancies amounting to Sh14,948,430,445 compared with Ifmis records.

In records presented in the financial statement by the county government through CeC and county finance director showed that county received only Sh19.4 billion against the most trusted Ifmis records that indicated that Mombasa received Sh34.4 billion during the financial year.

“It was not clear why the expenditure in the Ifmis varied with expenditure as presented in the financial statements and therefore validity of the figures contained in these financial statements for the year ending June 30 2017 could not be ascertained,” Auditor General Edward Ouko said in the report.

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The financial statement was also characterised by casting errors amounting to Sh509,319,252 which include exchequer release and transfers of funds from government entities.

The Auditor General also raised concerns over nonclosure of numerous bank accounts in commercial banks which were being used by corrupt and powerful individuals from within and outside the county to siphon taxpayers’ money.

According to the report which is currently a public document, governor Hassan Joho led county executive operates 17 bank accounts in various commercial banks which include accounts for the defunct local authority.

The Auditor General further rebuked the county executive after he realised that the Joho administration had omitted in the financial statement the bank balance available in 22 bank accounts run by the county amounting to Sh259.6 million.

There was no evidence from the county executive to show that the bank accounts at Kenya Commercial Bank and National Bank of Kenya had been closed, according to the report.

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Another area where money was found to be getting looted was revenue being transferred to the county revenue fund account.

The report revealed that only a total of Sh2.67 billion was remitted to the county revenue fund account against the total amount of Sh3.166 billion collected during the financial year 2016/2017.

Further out of the Sh494.2 million not transferred to the county revenue funds account, only Sh517.79 million was availed for audit review. According to the report, more than Sh79 million could not be traced.

The report also revealed that the county executive has been operating multiple revenue collection bank accounts at KCB, National Bank of Kenya and Cooperative Bank with no clear justification, considering the fact that banks have branches in several locations in the county, an indication that millions remain in individual ‘pockets’ before being transferred to the exchequer.

“This is contrary to section 82(i) a and b of the public finance management county government regulations 2015, which requires all county exchequer accounts to be opened at Central Bank of Kenya except imprest bank account revenue and county public fund bank accounts,” the AG reiterated in the report.

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