Payments worth Sh176.6 million allegedly made to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the year to June 2019 cannot be accounted for, a new audit has revealed, raising concerns of possible pilferage by some public officers.
Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu says the doubtful payments were made through the National Humanitarian Fund in the 2018/19 financial year.
“However, supporting schedules for payments were not provided for audit review with management indicating that the banks requested for more time to collate the data from branches that were paid the IDPs,” she says in a report tabled in Parliament on December 22, 2020.
In the circumstances, Ms Gathungu said it has not been possible to ascertain the propriety of the expenditure of Sh176,600319 included under other grants and transfers and statements in payments or receipts and payments under the year to June 30, 2019.
The latest audit comes in the wake of a report by former Auditor-General Edward Ouko who in July 2019 questioned the irregular payment of Sh2.7 billion to fictitious IDPs.
Mr Ouko unearthed numerous anomalies in the payment of the cash meant for people who were displaced by the 2007 General Election violence.
Mr Ouko said money was paid to non-existent IDPs, people who had duplicate names and others who did not have identity cards.
The displaced families were forced from their homes during the violence that followed the December 2007 presidential election pitting former president Mwai Kibaki against former prime minister Raila Odinga.
An estimated 1,220 Kenyans were killed and more than 660,000 displaced when violence flared up between supporters of the rival presidential contenders after Mr Kibaki was declared winner.
“Examination of sampled list of IDPs national identity cards (IDs) numbers revealed that payments… were made to IDPs whose national identity card numbers provided did not exist in the database of the National Registration Bureau.
“The Validity and propriety of payments… could not therefore be confirmed,” Mr Ouko said in his audit report of the financial statements of the National Humanitarian Fund.
He said the National Humanitarian Fund made payments worth millions of shillings to IDPs with duplicate names out of 16 counties whose records were submitted for audit.
He said for every duplicate name, only one name matched with the identification card number provided while the other similar name whose identification card number provided was related to a different person as verified in the National Registration Bureau database.
Mr Ouko accused the fund of making payments worth millions to IDPs without national identity cards in Turkana County.
He cited the Fund for failing to provide crucial documents for audit review.
In the latest audit, Ms Gathungu accused the National Humanitarian Fund of failing to correct long outstanding bank reconciliations worth Sh582,888.
“A review of the bank reconciliation statements as at June 30, 2019 , reveled payments worth Sh582,888 in the cash book not yet recorded in the bank statements and which include pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) amounting to Sh438,000which has been outstanding since 2018,” Ms Gathungu said.
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