An audit report of the financially troubled Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya has revealed that the State corporation undervalued its assets, under-declared rent from 200 of its properties and hired casuals who were paid Sh20 million for processing flowers despite there being no such work.
Auditor-General Edward Ouko’s report reveals the Nakuru-based company did not remit statutory deductions for workers despite the money being factored in the budget.
“The company failed to remit millions of shillings of workers’ union dues, pension scheme, bank and loan repayments despite money being set aside in the budget,” reads part of the report.
The Pyrethrum Superannuation Pension Scheme is also owed more than Sh2 billion for workers who retired. Some of the workers have died due to illness and other natural causes without enjoying their pension.
Mr Ouko, while lifting the lid on the rot at the State-funded corporation for the 2017-2018 period, said the processor did not declare rent it received from tenants occupying its houses.
The parastatal has properties — mostly houses and land — worth more than Sh4 billion in almost all the 18 pyrethrum growing counties, which it has leased out to individuals and companies.
According to records at the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya, it collected Sh15 million in rental income while a review of the rental properties by the audit team indicates the company could be collecting up to Sh29.8 million.
“The rent collectable and collected is therefore not only under-declared but part of it is also not accounted for,” points out the audit.
Interestingly even with financial difficulties, the parastatal undertook a re-evaluation of its assets at a cost of Sh14.5 million and ended up leaving out several properties, including pieces of land and motor vehicles without any justification.
This has fuelled speculation that the properties may have landed in the hands of grabbers.
“Out of the existing 50 vehicles, logbooks for 10 vehicles were not provided for audit. Consequently, their ownership remains doubtful,” said the Auditor-General report.
At least eight vehicles valued at Sh11.5 million were impounded and auctioned due to outstanding payments to a service provider who had carried out some work at the company during the 2013/14 financial year.