Lamu county government cannot account for more than Sh149 million spent irregularly during 2017/2018 financial year, the Auditor General Edward Ouko says.
The report revealed that the county government created a fictitious project that was allocated Sh148.472,193 without proper and legal budgeting procedures.
According to the report, a review of the expenditures in Integrated Financial Management Information System revealed that the money was incurred through an account identified as ‘expenses’ under expenditure code 2990105.
“However, a review of the budget established that there was no expenditure budget under this account. Further the account was not recorded in the financial statement,” says Auditor General.
The report accuses the county executive led by Governor Fahim Twaha of incurring the expenditure without prior authority contrary to section 53 of the public finance management (county government) regulations of 2015.
The report also blamed the executive for allocating more money for both its recurrent and development expenditures to the county assembly, in what was seen as an attempt by Governor Twaha’s management to silence and tame MCAs.
During the 2017/18 financial year, the county government approved budget of Sh3billion comprising of Sh2 billion for recurrent expenditure (67pc) and Sh1 billion (33pc)for development expenditure.
Included in the budget was Sh500 million allocated for the county assembly where Sh350 million was allocated for recurrent while remaining Sh150million for development.
“In addition, the county assembly budget was Sh500,000,000 being 16.6pc of the total budget. This exceeded by 9.6pc, the limit set by section 25 1(f) of the public finance management regulations and section 107 of public finance Management Act 2012,” Ouko pointed out in his audit report.
The report further revealed that 98 development projects stalled despite allocation and expenditure of millions of public money.
Twenty six of the stalled projects are in the health and public sanitation department, 19 in land, physical planning, infrastructure and water department, 15 projects in fisheries, livestock and cooperative development department, 12 in education, gender, sports, youth and social services department and nine others in trade and tourism department.
The stalled projects were allocated more than Sh600 million believed to have been illegally diverted and spent irregularly, leaving Lamu residents without obtaining value for money and services.
Lamu county executive comprises of Governor Twaha as the County boss, Abdul Aboud as his deputy, Ahmed Hemed, CeC finance, Abdu Godana CeC livestock and fisheries, Fahima Arafat CeC land and infrastructure, Dimas Mpole CeC trade and tourism, Raphael Munywa CeC health, environment and sanitation and Florence Ndun’gu CeC agriculture, water and irrigation.
Key county officers implicated in the looting during the 2017/18 financial year include chief finance officer Mariam Bunu and director of accounting services Sanawa Manoah.