Irene Githinji @gitshee
The National Taxpayers Association (NTA) has condemned wanton wastage of funds in county Assemblies, saying anti-corruption agencies should move expeditiously and address the breach of public trust exemplified by illegal allowances.
Their concerns arise from the Auditor General’s report on county Assemblies for the financial year 2016/17. NTA said the unfettered wastage threatens to shatter hopes of a devolved system.
NTA national coordinator Irene Otieno said the report showed massive loss of funds, particularly on unsupported travel expenditure.
The association is now recommending that public office holders, including a politician, who directs or approves the use of public funds contrary to law or instructions be held liable for any loss arising from that use.
“NTA commits to sustain its vigilance on public funds and to collaborate with stakeholders to fight for accountability and prudent usage of Kenyans’ taxes,” said Otieno.
“As we are struggling with public funds wastage at the county level, it’s sad that some of the officers tasked with the responsibility of managing these funds are the ones actually leading in gross misuse and wanton wastage,” she added.
She said an analysis of domestic and foreign travel showed an expenditure of Sh2.28 billion and Sh386.7 million, respectively. For domestic travel, the unsupported expenditure stood at 16 per cent ,translating to at least Sh366.4 million while that of foreign travel was at 32 per cent or Sh123.6 million.
NTA said the top five counties with unsupported foreign travel expenditure for the said period were Lamu, Samburu, Nandi, Isiolo and Bungoma.
For the domestic travel, the top five counties included Kiambu, Kisumu, Nandi, Bungoma and Tharaka Nithi.
On the overall, NTA said the highest unsupported total expenditure was in Lamu at 100 per cent, followed by Kiambu with 73.4 per cent.