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Judiciary caught up in KES 130M procurement scam

11 June 2014, 09:28 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has established that the Judiciary was involved in verbal or undocumented procurement amounting to KES 130 million.

The Judiciary’s Chief Registrar, Anne Amadi told PAC that the institution’s internal audit revealed that undocumented KES 62 million was spent during the 2013 Presidential inauguration in addition to KES 68 million outstanding bills to pay for supplied furniture among other equipment.

“Mr. Chair, the Judiciary has been operating without procurement fund thus carrying out unbudgeted for procurement thus leading to such misappropriation of funds. We have developed a 2014-2015 procurement plan to avoid over-expenditure,” Amadi told PAC chaired by Budalangi MP, Ababu Namwamba.

Amadi noted that the procurement irregularities done by her predecessor poses a big challenge of loss of public funds because many procured contracts and leases are going to be cancelled for proper process to be followed.

“Judiciary had spent KES 140 million to procure both Elgon Place and Rahimtulla Building for the judges’ offices but due to unfavorable conditions for human habitation, the awarded leases are going to be terminated in addition to the KES 106 million awarded to contractor to build the Narok Law Court facilities,” noted the Chief Registrar.

She added that 31 Judiciary employees involved in irregularities have been sacked and that irregular job promotions have also been reversed and salaries of affected staff harmonized.

Amadi stated that the Judiciary has devised proper ways of regulating the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) meetings to cut the over-expenditure revealed in the Auditor General’s report where non-JSC staffs also received allowances contrary to outlined legal provisions.

The Chef Registrar further noted that although negative ethnicity has been a challenge in the Judiciary’s operations where for instance most directors in the legal institution are from one community, they are looking into the matter to promote ethnic balance.

“It is possible ethnicity is a problem in Judiciary and we are looking into the matter. Since I joined the Judiciary, I haven’t encountered intimidation based on ethnicity and I will be in the forefront of promoting national unity in the fight against negative ethnicity,” stated Amadi.

However, PAC faulted the Judiciary’s expenditure of KES 62 million during the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration stating that it was a State function already budgeted for after the Parliament’s earlier discussions and amicable agreement for the National Treasury to fund entirely.

“As said by Suna East MP, Junet Muhammed, the Judiciary had no legal ground to contribute any single shilling towards the Presidential inauguration other than taking the Bible for oath. This massive misappropriation of public funds in the Judiciary shows the keeper of justice became injustice,” said Namwamba.

“When I was in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, I championed for more funding to Judiciary to deliver its functions effectively but then the public money goes to wastage in people’s pockets,” he added.

The committee urged Amadi to clean up Judiciary and ensure there is transparency in expenditure now that she was the newly appointed Chief Registrar and Chief Accounting officer of the institution.

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