Kilifi, KENYA: Journalists from various media houses and members of the public were on Tuesday denied access to follow probing proceedings carried out at the Kilifi county assembly on the suspended officers.
The proceedings were scheduled for today (Tuesday 15th November) following a request by the ten officials, who said they had sensitive information which they could not spill in the presence of their seniors.
The order to bar journalists and the public from accessing the proceedings, was given by the County Assembly speaker Jimmy Kahindi ; a matter that was not taken lightly by the members of the public.
The ten officers were suspended by the Kilifi county government to pave way for investigations over the loss of at least sh. 51.2 million from the departments of Health services and Finance.
Cash amounting to sh. 30 million was said to have gone missing in the department of Health services and sh. 21.2 million from the department of finance and economic planning, were also unaccountable for.
The “lost” money was initially reported to be sh. 30 million which later was confirmed to have increased to sh. 45 million by the county secretary Owen Baya, in a press statement on the 8th of November 2016.
“As you may be aware, recent press reports have reported that the Kilifi County Government lost sh. 45 million through fraudulent activities that included interfering with the IFMIS system and internet banking systems which are used to process payments from the County Government main account held at the Central Bank,” read the press statement signed by the County Secretary Owen Baya.
On the 10th of November 2016, finance and planning chief officer Ben Kai confirmed to the county assembly committee investigating the issue that the lost money was not sh. 45 million but sh. 51.2 million.