Economy

Sonko, 4 others risk charges for keeping Sh1.6m imperest

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Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko arrives at a court in Milimani, Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is among five individuals who could face legal action for failing to surrender Sh1.6 million in imprest.
  • The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) says it will move to court to have Mr Sonko pay Sh544,733, which he took on April 1, 2014, while serving as the Senator for Nairobi County.
  • Mr Sonko was required to surrender the imprest on April 14, 2014, but failed to clear the amount until he left office in August 2017.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is among five individuals who could face legal action for failing to surrender Sh1.6 million in imprest.

The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) says it will move to court to have Mr Sonko pay Sh544,733, which he took on April 1, 2014, while serving as the Senator for Nairobi County.

Mr Sonko was required to surrender the imprest on April 14, 2014, but failed to clear the amount until he left office in August 2017.

Imprest is a sum of money advanced to state and public officers for a particular purpose.

“We sent a recovery request to the chief officer, finance, Nairobi City County. We wanted to attach his money and get part of what was owed to him from public coffers,” Jeremiah Nyegenye, PSC secretary, told MPs.

He told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that efforts to have Mr Sonko clear the amount had failed.

“We have tried to recover this money from him but he has been dodging us. We will proceed to a suit against him,” Mr Nyegenye, who is also the Clerk of the Senate, said.

He said the PSC has filed court cases against the estate of former Moyale MP Guracha Galgalo who died before clearing a Sh114,766 in 2006.



The case was filed last year.

Other cases that are ongoing in court involves former PSC staff Andrew Mwendwa (Sh502,417), Kenneth Kipkoech Ngeny (Sh29,940) and Ekari Chire (Sh415,816).

“Former Nairobi Senator is a man with capacity. He just left office as governor the other day. Why has he declined to surrender the imprest of Sh544,733? You can simply call him and he will bring the money in a bag,” Funyula MP Oundo Ojiambo said.

Mr Nyegenye appeared before the committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi to respond to audit queries.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu had raised the red flag over outstanding imprests amounting to Sh10.95 million and salary advances of Sh1.35 million.

She said the imprests of Sh5.97 million were due for surrender on or before June 30, 2019 but had not been accounted for or recovered from the imprest holders by December 30, 2019.

“Further, the outstanding imprest balance included long outstanding imprests amounting to Sh3,144,626 issued between 2005/2006 and 2017/18 whose recoverability is doubtful,” Ms Gathungu said.

She said contrary to the provisions of the Public Finance Management (Regulations) 2015, no action has been taken to recover the full amounts of outstanding imprests from salaries of defaulting staff members and officers.