Developing Story! How Kenyans Lost Billions at the Ministry of Labor

The Ministry of Labour sold a Volkswagen Passat for Sh32,000, according to an exposé by the Auditor General detailing possible loss of millions of taxpayers’ money. A second hand car of the same make retails for around two million in the local market.

Auditor General Edward Ouko has cited under-valuation in the sale of 17 GK vehicles, pending bills and ghost projects initiated by the ministry under former Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie.

“Some of the top-of-the-range vehicles were sold for as low as Sh32,000 with no visible damage and had a reserve price of Sh30,000, attracting a bid price of Sh100,000, but still ended up fetching only Sh32,000 and from a different bidder,” said Ouko.
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He went on: “GKA 253E, a Nissan patrol, had a reserve price of Sh100,000 and attracted a bid price of Sh1.8 million but only Sh130,000 was receipted.”

He questioned why fairly new vehicles were disposed of, leaving old and grounded cars in the various yards of the ministry.

As a result, Ouko has called for the punishment of Government officials involved in the racket, the auctioneering firm contracted and the parties that colluded leading to the loss of public funds and assets.

Image result for Phyllis Kandie.
“It was not clear how the auctioneer was procured and awarded due to various discrepancies in correspondences between the auctioneer and the head of procurement at the ministry,” he said.

More shocking is Ouko’s query on the Sh3.3 billion district suspense balance, where no schedules have been provided by the ministry to support it and that the management has not explained the challenges faced in resolving the matter.

The report tabled in the House yesterday by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township) was for the year ended June 31, 2017.

Image result for Edward Ouko

The report shows details of the auction were also not produced for audit verification. Mr Ouko has also detected massive financial improprieties at the ministry, running into hundreds of millions of shillings.

In pending bills, Ouko noted that of Sh36 million, only Sh10 million had been paid, leaving an outstanding balance of Sh26 million.

The ministry is censured for malpractices that included stalled construction of the Sh442.7 million National Employment Promotion Centre in Kabete, Kiambu, and irregular payment of Sh5 million for manpower consultancy services.

The damning revelation comes at a time when the government has mounted a major crackdown on graft. Early this week President Uhuru Kenyatta said he will not relent in his fight against corruption and that he is ready to loss friends if that is what it takes to end the vice.

DPP Noordin Haji has also opened cases of high profile government officials who have been linked with corruption. Last week, former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero spend two nights in custody as his case was being prepapred.

National Land Commissions Chair Mohammed Swazuri was also arrested on Saturday and spend two nights in a cold cell and was arraigned in court on Monday to face charges on compensation of SGR land.

Kenyans are now waiting to see if Ambassador Phyllis Kandie will be questioned by the relevant authorities

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