MCAs, County Assembly staff to refund KES 6.2 M spent on smartphones
01 October 2015, 09:38
Nairobi – Kajiado County Assembly staff and MCAs who acquired smartphones and iPads worth KES 90 000 million from the public coffers will each be surcharged KES 40 000 to recover the money.
The Senate Public Accounts committee chaired by Senator Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), said Kajiado County Assembly officials’ move to purchase the gadgets worth KES 6.2 million in addition to laptops and desktops for the County intended to misappropriate public funds and is an indicator of the County’s misplaced priorities.
The Kajiado County Assembly Clerk, Daniel Konyango who appeared before the Senate committee, was put to task to justify and account for the purchase of the gadgets where he argued that the devices were purchased in line with the procurement laws although their cost was inflated.
“The mobile phones and iPads were not acquired through the low value procurement procedure as observed by the auditors. The said devices were procured for official use by the MCAs and senior staff of the Assembly,” said Konyango.
County Assembly staff who received the gadgets include the Speaker and his deputy, Leader of Majority and his Minority counterpart, committee chairpersons among others.
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Kajiado Senator, Peter Mositet expressed disappointment over the manner in which the County’s funds were being squandered on luxuries at the expense of suffering residents.
“Money sent in Kajiado is meant to help our people and not to be squandered by County leaders. I ask this Senate committee not to run away from this issue but to pursue and prosecute it to serve as an example to other counties,” Mositet pleaded with the Khalwale-led committee.
Nominated Senator, Martha Wangari condemned the County assembly's move to use millions of money for the purchase of the devices yet many girls were dropping out of school in the County due to lack money to buy sanitary towels.
“More than KES 10 million has been spent by both the County Executive and County Assembly to buy phones and other devices; this is total wastage. This money could have helped more than 9 000 Kajiado girls purchase sanitary pads for a year,” said Wangari.
Khalwale raised the concern that it has become a trend for counties to engage in procurement of equipment and facilities that do not add value to the lives of residents.
“We are serious in surcharging County officials misusing public funds. In Homa Bay County, we surcharged MCAs KES 40 000 per month to recover the misappropriated funds. Devolution must work and we are also going to punish you,” Khawalwe told the Kajiado County Clerk and other officials.
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