The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has failed to clear a debt of Sh1.6 million owed to the government for more than seven years, drawing censure from public auditors.
The debt stems from an overpayment made to ACK St Lukes Namanga of Sh1.6 million for a land deal, which the church has failed to refund.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) paid Sh6,665,455 to ACK Namanga Church in August 2012 for land acquisition that paved the way for the construction of Namanga One Stop Border Post.
Later it was discovered that the value of land had been revised downwards to Sh4,997,200, indicating an overpayment of Sh1,688,200 that the church committed to refund.
KeNHA in a letter dated July 12, 2016 wrote to the ACK Archbishop, Jackson Ole Sapit, seeking settlement of the debt.
The roads agency informed the church the debt was queried by government auditors, and that the enquiries were portraying the church negatively.
Transport and Infrastructure Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Chris Obure said both Archbishop Sapit and his predeccessor, Eliud Wabukhala, had been adequately engaged over the matter.
“This is public money for which someone must be accountable,” Mr Obure said.
On Monday, Lugari MP Ayub Savula told the Roads ministry to involve the Directorate of Criminal Investigations so as to compel the church to refund the money within 14 days.
On August 26, 2015, then Anglican Archbishop Wabukhala wrote to the bishop of Kajiado diocese, Gaddiel K. Lenini, asking him to arrange for repayment of the debt in instalments.