• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

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City Hall Diverts a Budget of Sh100 Million Earmarked for WDF

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Just a two days after two Nairobi County Revenue officers were arrested, the county is on the spot again over diversion of budgeted funds from the Ward Development kitty.

Investigative authorities on 23rd Tuesday 2024 were alarmed by the scheme to divert the funds with the process having been invoiced and apparently cleared successfully at the Internet Banking.

Those on the spot include WDF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Engineer Eston Kimathi who took over the office in acting capacity but reportedly not conversant with operations of the fund, Chief Officer Finance Asha Abdi who has previously been accused by sector heads for masterminding transfer of funds without involving them and Martha Wambugu who is the Head of Treasury.

The officer whose sector is the recipient of the diverted funds is known as Pamela Achieng and the accounting expert who made sure the deal goes through as per our reliable source is Brian Mputhia the Accountant in the Governor’s Office.

Brian has also been placed by the governor in the Liquor Board where it suspected millions of funds are also being diverted.

The invoicing of the Sh100 million was done under vote 5325 through Pamela Achieng but it is not clear whether her password was stolen or not.

Initially, Engineer Eston Kimathi had approached Martha to help the sector access its funds but he was referred to Charles Kerich the Finance Executive who is believed to have asked for a letter.

The WDF kitty was allocated Sh1.9 billion in the 2023/24 budget but the fund has been shrouded in controversy with detectives now suspecting hundreds of illegal transactions have been processed with little going to the wards.

Controversy at the WDF office started when former CEO Josephine Kithu was forcefully ejected out of office, sent on forced leave then redeployed but with no official communication.

As established by the County Assembly Labour Committee, the CEO was removed and Kimathis quickly appointed in an acting capacity.

The letter said the officer was supposed to be assigned other duties on the Finance docket. However, this has never happened despite reporting to work daily.

It is not clear whether Kithu was given another position or not with efforts to reach her for comment unsuccessful.

Concerned parties now want the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to probe all transactions, including invoices and vouchers under the WDF probed.

“Let the EACC or even the DCI probe all commitments and transactions done since July 2023 to January 2024 and they will be shocked,” an insider source revealed.

The Sh100 million stolen was for suspected ghost supplies under the WDF.

Under the PFM Act, funds can only be transferred from one sector to another through a supplementary budget.

However at City Hall, senior accountants and the treasury department have mastered ways of stealing budgets from other sectors in a well-coordinated plan.

Authorities are still following up on a complaint letter from Chief Officer Disaster Management and Coordination Bramuel Simiyu.

The letter dated 10/11/2023 is titled; “Unauthorized Commitments and Transactions on IFMIS for the disaster management and coordination sector.”

According to Bramuel, a series of irregular and unauthorized commitments and transactions were made on the IFMIS platform affecting the sector’s budget.

The payments made were for ghost suppliers prompting him to write to the Finance Chief Officer Asha Abdi who authorizes payments on the IFMIS platform. Chief Officers for various sectors are always the first approvers for any payments to be made.

“ It has come to my attention that there have been and there continues to be number of irregular and/or unauthorized commitments and transactions made on the IFMIS platform that affects the sector budget,” the letter reads in its opening paragraph

It further reads: “As the sector’s Accounting Officer and the First Approver on the IFMIS system, these commitments done without my knowledge and approval have the potential effect of affecting our ability to deliver on the programs we have committed to in our ADP, lead to audit queries and/or contribute to potential loss of public funds.

Further details from the letter indicate that the commitments were made even before the sector procurement plan for the year 2023/2024 had been approved and uploaded onto the IFMIS platform as required by the PFM Act.

As case in point as per the letter is a commitment of Ksh,15,658,500 invoiced from the Fire Fighting and Rescue Development Expenditure (Vote Head 0018/3111299-00001001-0726035310-53100001).

This was drawn from a vote Ksh.120 million budgeted for the construction of the Gikomba and Kangemi Fire Stations.

The DCI is still investigating  requisitions by the user department, award contracts, delivery and inspection reports and all local purchase orders.

Some of the staff include, Kevin Musamia who was employed as a clerical officer after working for long as an  attachee under roads and public works.

Kevin, who is known to be an extravagant spender on women’s life luxuries indirectly owns a company by the name Felista Queen Akosa that is managed by his mother.

Others are Ambrose Musau, Vivian Mavua, Beth Muthoni, Denis Muia, Brian Oyando, one who does work plans for the county, Richard Mogoko the  head of procurement who has gained massive from corruption dealings, his main clients are suppliers and contractors from the Somali community and a few Kikuyus, he is currently building state-of-the-art-house.

There is also  Stephen Mafura,  Mary Maina Wangui, Peter Gitau from procurement, Martha Wambugu among others.

Detectives are also pursuing similar cases where huge amounts of money are being  wired direct to county officials from suspected corruption dealings.

Other fraudulent transactions as per the letter include unauthorized invoicing using Emergency Fund for firms that have no known engagement with the sector.

Some of the payments mentioned include Ksh 2million paid to Charleka Enterprises and Ksh 900,000 paid to Nichotech Enterprises.

“Given the foregoing, I wish to request  for your intervention to establish how and under what circumstances these approvals are being done and if possible this be reversed,” Bramuel added

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