Mombasa County PAC resumes sittings

Mombasa County PAC resumes sittings

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Mombasa County Assembly hall PHOTO/FILE

County Finance Cabinet Secretary Hazel Koitaba is expected to appears before the committee Monday afternoon for ongoing interrogation of top county officers in connection to corruption scandals unearthed recently through the Auditor General Report.

Koitaba becomes the first top Mombasa government officer to be grilled by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this week.

The Fadhil Mwalimu led committee has since grilled 3 top county government officers in the process which began last week in falls start.

The Committee was forced to postpone some of its sittings early last week after a number of officers expected to appear declined to be questioned citing unpreparedness.

County Executive Secretary Hamis Mwaguya, County Assembly clerk Tubman Otieno, County Transitional Authority coordinator Evanson Kariuku  were among those who declined earlier to answer questions.

Tubman who appeared later had a hard time to respond to some allegation including that concerning 20 bank accounts which belonged to the municipal council and were not closed or delayed to be closed even after the formation of county governments.

He however, admitted the availability of the 20 bank accounts, but told the committee that 17 of them have already been closed.

The former Town Clerk had no documents to prove his answers but promised to submit them before the committee this week.

Three accounts are yet to be closed due to failure by some of the signatories to sign relevant documents required by banks since they are unreachable according to Tubman Otieno.

County transitional authority coordinator Mr. Evanson Kariuki also refuted allegation in the report that that transitional authority failed to conduct its duties lawfully, saying the entire transition process was indeed conducted as per the law.

The Auditor General report released early June on Mombasa County expenditures revealed an outright looting of public funds running into millions belonging to Mombasa County.

Auditor General Edward Ouko raised various audit queries on inconsistencies that cover up massive looting of county funds, including those of the now-defunct Mombasa Municipal Council.

According to the 2013-2014 financial report, the county’s expenditure record had so many anomalies with an unspecified loss estimated in the hundreds of millions.

The report revealed that the county government did not close 17 bank accounts of the municipal council as at June 30, 2014, contrary to the circular by the Transition Authority requiring closure of the accounts by February 28, 2013.

It  indicated that over ksh 200million were banked in the accounts during the period under review but could not be accounted for.

The funds were not transferred to the County Revenue Fund account at the Central Bank of Kenya in line with the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.