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Economy

Kibicho blames Foreign ministry for theft of Sh1.4bn travel papers

From left: Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho, Interior Cabinet Secretary  Fred Matiang’í and chief administrative secretary Patrick ole Ntutu when they appeared before a  joint parliamentary committee. FILE PHOTO | NMG
From left: Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’í and chief administrative secretary Patrick ole Ntutu when they appeared before a joint parliamentary committee. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Ministry of Interior has shifted the blame for the theft of visa stickers and passports worth Sh1.4 billion to the Foreign Affairs ministry.

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho told Parliament that the Foreign ministry should account for all the visa stickers worth Sh2.73 billion, blank passports (Sh202.5 million) and printed passports of Sh65.9 million it received from his ministry in the two years to June 2015.

This follows revelations by Auditor-General Edward Ouko that the Department of Immigration under the Interior ministry can only account for Sh1.5 billion passports and stickers against documents worth Sh2.9 billion delivered to the embassies in the two years.

He said the difference of Sh1.4 billion of visa stickers and passports from several foreign missions could not be accounted for.

“In view of the above, the Sh2.9 billion ought to have been reported and accounted for as appropriations in aid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its statements of assets and liabilities among other receipts for services rendered at the missions,” said Dr Kibicho in submissions to the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee last week.

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Entry points and foreign missions

He admitted the Department of Immigration procured the stickers and passports for use at the entry points in the country and in foreign missions.

“The visa stickers used in the missions are issued to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs upon requisition who in turn issue the same to Kenyan missions abroad for use,” he said.

Of the Sh2.9 billion, passports worth Sh268.5 million were delivered to the foreign missions while the embassies received visa stickers worth Sh2.7 billion.

The stickers are issued to foreigners who need visas to enter Kenya while the passports are meant for Kenyans in the diaspora.

No records

Mr Ouko said there are no records to show the passports and visas were issued.

“The passports were not recorded at the embassies counter receipt book registers and also not produced for physical audit verification,” said Mr Ouko.

Dr Kibicho told MPs that Washington DC, London, Dubai, Pretoria and Berlin were the only missions abroad where the passports processing system had been installed.

The PS said he would make available the documents the Auditor-General sought to facilitate physical audit and verification.

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