Economy

PSs asked to account for Sh3.3 billion relief food

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Parliament buildings in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Parliament has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Devolution Principal Secretary Julius Korir to account for Sh3.3 billion relief food.
  • In total, Sh7,097,393,359 relief food was distributed.
  • However, the State Department failed to account for the Sh3,289,532,111 expenditure.

Parliament has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Devolution Principal Secretary Julius Korir to account for Sh3.3 billion relief food.

The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) directed Mr Korir to work with his Interior counterpart Karanja Kibicho whose ministry distributed the supplies to famine-stricken Kenyans in the year to June 2018.

In total, Sh7,097,393,359 relief food was distributed. However, the State Department failed to account for the Sh3,289,532,111 expenditure.

The Devolution Ministry transferred the food and funds to various counties under the oversight of County Commissioners and Deputy County Commissioners but majority of them have failed to file returns to the Ministry of Devolution.

The county administrators are expected to send monthly reports showing the names of persons that received the food and how the funds provided for transport were utilised.

About 23 County Commissioners have failed to file accountability reports to date.

“I direct you to ensure that PS Julius Korir and Dr Karanja Kibicho account for the relief supplies by end of business on Monday next week,” Opiyo Wandayi told Arid and Semi-Arid Land PS Micah Powon.



Mr Powon, who is the PS in the State Department for Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) appeared before PAC to audit queries.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu said although documentation in respect of procurement of the relief commodities were made available, the documentation for distribution to the beneficiaries and the basis for selection of beneficiaries were not provided for audit scrutiny.

The auditor cast doubt on the validity of the expenditure and value for money to the citizens could not be confirmed.

Mr Powon told the committee that the ministry had the Ministerial Relief Food Distribution where members were drawn from the ministries of Interior, Planning, Agriculture and National Drought Management Authority.

“The Ministry send relief food to County Commissioners and Deputy County Commissioners who then coordinated the targeting of individual beneficiaries and further distributed the food,” Mr Powon said.

He said the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’í has not responded to an August 13, 2019 on the accounting for food and funds under relief programme.