Top Stories / National
Monday, 30 May 2016 08:47 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The Mombasa County Assembly Service Board could have lost millions of shillings in irregular payments for goods and services. Information contained in selected imprest warrants, local purchase orders and payment vouchers seen by the Free Press indicates rampant wastage of funds through inflation of prices for goods and services.
The documents show that over Sh42 million was spent on goods and services which were never offered or whose values were grossly inflated. Funds were lost through irregular procurement, such as the contracting of firms not prequalified to offer services to the board.
One LPO showed that the board approved the payment for supply and delivery of two Speaker’s gowns at Sh800,000. Nominated MCA Mohamed Hatimy, who is a fierce critic of the Board, says the expenditure was inflated. “A single gown costs less than Sh200,000, and there was no need for two new gowns since the county had another new gown bought during the reign of former mayor,” Hatimy said.
The new constitution restructured local governance, establishing county governments in place of old local councils. The Mombasa County Government took over the premises, assets and liabilities of the defunct Mombasa Municipal Council. The assembly sits at the former Mombasa Town Hall.
Other documents show that Majority Leader Abdallah Kasagamba was paid Sh248,000 for one month car hire services offered by a non-prequalified company. The majority leader claimed that he had been asked to choose a company to provide the service after qualified ones refused to offer services due to huge outstanding payments from the county, but we couldn’t independently verify his claim.
Another imprest warrant showed that Kasagamba, who is the county representative for Likoni, received Sh281,000 for the repair of CCTVs at his office. Hatimy claimed the tender should have cost about Sh15,000. Kasagamba, speaking on behalf of the Board, denied all allegations of corruption. For example, he said that the imprest for the CCTV had been cancelled.
A tender for medical cover was awarded at Sh33 million, and Hatimy claims that the assembly went for the deal despite their having been a provider who quoted Sh29 million.
The board approved about Sh1,850,000 for provision of 250 privileges stickers for MCAs. Hatimy said only 44 stickers were required and each should have cost Sh1,500. “After 44 stickers were issued to MCAs the rest were sold to members of the public at Sh10,000 each, contrary to the law.”
The board comprises of Speaker of the assembly Thadius Rajwayi (chairman), clerk of the assembly (secretary), Majority Leader Kasagamba (deputy chairperson), leader of minority and one member representing the public. The documents show that Rajwayi himself was paid Sh82,500 to hire car services for seven days from a company that was not prequalified.
Minority leader Maimuna Mwawasi was also paid Sh136,000 for a similar car hire service from a non-prequalified form. She is recorded as having used the car for 17 days. Another imprest warrant indicated that Mwawasi received Sh258,000 for the servicing of an air conditioner and printers at her office. Hatimy said this payment was questionable too, as a new air conditioner costs about Sh48,000 on the market.
Maimuna defended herself from all allegations of corruption, saying she was not an accounting officer and therefore could not know value of services rendered to her office.