Joel Omotto and Mercy Mwai @PeopleSport11
Kenyans might finally get to know how Sh1.7 billion meant for the World Under-18 Championships held in Nairobi last year was misappropriated when Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia appears before a parliamentary committee to shed more light on the matter this morning.
The Sports Ministry has been in the spotlight since last week after it emerged that out of Sh3.5 billion allocated to the ministry in the championships preparations, Sh1.7 billion of it was spent irregularly.
With the country still smarting from the NYS, Kenya Pipeline and Ruaraka land scandals, where billions of taxpayers’ cash was stolen, the issue raised more anger and National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) responded by summoning Kaberia to appear before it this morning, given he is the chief accounting officer of the ministry.
PAC, chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, wants Kaberia to explain how the ministry spent the money after Auditor General Edward Ouko raised queries over the expenditure.
Wandayi said that he expects Kaberia to come with all the officers involved in the planning meetings of the championship as flagged by Ouko in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Kaberia was expected to appear before the committee in early September but the committee pushed the meeting to today due to the new audit queries revealed by Ouko.
He will be expected to shed light on audit queries in the 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 financial years.
“We had scheduled to examine the accounts of the Ministry of Sports for the 2014/2015 financial year in the month of September but because of public interest on the matters raised by the AG in the 2016/2017 financial year, we have brought forward our meeting to Monday August 27 at 10am,” Wandayi said last week.
In his report tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Aden Duale, Ouko revealed that the State department for Sports and Development was allocated Sh1.7 billion, Sports Kenya Sh1.1 billion and Kenyatta University Sh689.6 million.
During the championships, the government had formed a committee to manage the funds that comprised representatives from the State department, government sports organisations, security departments and other stakeholders.
In his report, Ouko queried how the money was spent, with part of the unaccounted for cash including irregular pending bills amounting to Sh138.2 million, Sh349.6 million that was incurred through direct procurement—which is against the Public Procurement and Disposal Act of 2015—another Sh66 million which was also controversially set aside for the procurement of taxi services, where M/S Pewin Cabs Limited was paid Sh23.8 million above the market rate, as well as an expenditure of Sh204.1 million that was not supported by the relevant documents.
Further, Ouko also revealed that another Sh67.5 million was paid to M/S Patel studio for the procurement of media agency services and Sh70.5 million to M/S Inter Management Group for sports marketing and event yet no advertisement was issued for request of proposals and the evaluation reports as required by the law.