Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
Public universities are now on the spot over unexplained expenditure running into millions of shillings, Auditor General Edward Ouko has revealed.
In a report tabled last week in the National Assembly by Leader of Majority Aden Duale, Ouko also cited lack of proper documentation, breach of law and lack of accountability as the biggest challenges currently facing the universities.
The universities that raised the red flag over procurement challenges include; Moi, Maseno, Multi Media, Kenyatta, Cooperative, Eldoret, and Kabianga.
In respect to Multimedia University, Ouko raised queries regarding the institution’s failure to account for Sh164.7 million which includes trade debtors totaling to Sh105.9 million out of which a balance of SH77.9 million has been outstanding for the last 10 years dating as far back as 1998.
Ouko said examination of a sample of students debts revealed that recoverability of debts from students totalling to Sh101.7 million is doubtful as the same has since been included in non –existent or inactive students.
In addition, he has also raised queries over Sh157.3 million that it spent after procuring consultancy services from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) for the proposed engineering complex building as it did not comply with the requirements in section 74 of the Public and Procurement and Disposal Act.
On Kenyatta University, Ouko expressed concerns that a majority of staff at the institution are from one tribe.
“A review of the university staff data as of June 30, 2017 revealed that one ethnic community accounted for 45 per cent of senior management, 39 per cent academic staff and 42 per cent on non-teaching staff,” reads the report.
In regard to Moi University, Ouko regretted that despite the government advancing the institution a loan of Sh231 million to facilitate the acquisition of its Karatina campus, the loan has not been transferred to Karatina University as per the order and it remains unserviced since the date of the latter as a campus.
In the case of Maseno University, Ouko took on the institution for failing to provide any evidence in regard to an ambulance it claimed to have procured in June 2015, procured at a cost of Sh6.2 million.