An activist has filed a case aiming to oust Silas Kinoti, the Director General of the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), over accusations of mismanaging 2.7 billion Kenyan Shillings and abusing his position.
Francis Awino, the petitioner, expresses concerns that if Kinoti remains in office, KURA could continue hemorrhaging taxpayer funds, branding him as the most corrupt figure within the organization.
The allegations against Kinoti stem from a report by the Auditor General, Nancy Gathungu, which points out Kinoti’s failure to account for the substantial sum. The report also highlights significant issues such as inadequate road maintenance, insufficient documentation of expenses, and the utilization of outdated equipment.
The audit reveals that the mishandled funds were not allocated to a separate account but instead deposited into KURA’s primary bank account. Furthermore, the report notes the absence of essential financial records, including a cashbook, bank reconciliation statements, and bank confirmation certificates to support the transactions.
During his tenure since 2019, Kinoti has been repeatedly accused of mismanaging funds and displaying inadequate leadership at KURA. Concerns have particularly arisen regarding the allocation of funds for road maintenance, a crucial function of the organization.
The Director General’s failure to provide comprehensive documentation for project expenditures has raised suspicions about whether funds were utilized in compliance with regulations.
The petitioner, Mr. Francis Awino, highlights an incident where Kinoti authorized payments to contractors who had not fulfilled their obligations, leading to a loss of 51.9 million Kenyan Shillings.
This lapse was attributed to Kinoti’s failure to follow proper procedures and verify the completion of work before releasing payments. Awino also points to instances where Kinoti overpaid contractors, resulting in substantial financial losses. One notable example is the payment of 90 million Kenyan Shillings to a contractor who had only completed 20% of the project.
Kinoti is accused of aiding cartels within the transport sector by enabling procurement malpractice and irregular contracts. This is done through the allocation of tenders to his associates, followed by formal advertisements to create a semblance of transparency.
The petitioner further alleges that Kinoti favored the construction company “Stecol Corporation” in awarding a 19 million Kenyan Shilling contract for projects spanning Nairobi, Kajiado, and Kiambu counties. The firm was tasked with upgrading the Outering road and constructing a bridge at Allsoaps to link Outering road and Thika Superhighway.
Considering Kinoti’s history of financial mismanagement and incompetence, which have resulted in substantial losses for taxpayers, the petitioner asserts that his tenure as the Director General of KURA is untenable.