Probe Machakos County for bursary fraud, Senate tells EACC

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024 07:30 | By
Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi. PHOTO/Print
Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi. PHOTO/Print

A Senate watchdog committee has asked the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to pitch tent at Machakos County and investigate how bursary cheques were altered to benefit a few individuals.

The Senate County Public Investments and Special Funds Committee chaired by Vihiga lawmaker Godfrey Osotsi (pictured) yesterday heard how the devolved unit paid altered bursary cheques to needy students in financial year 2020-21.

The auditor general in her report had flagged off the anomaly pointing out a possible collusion between the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) officials Machakos Branch and the County officials.

It emerged that some cheques were altered with the suspects adding a zero at the end of the cheques, thereby increasing the amount of money channelled to the needy students.

“This matter is a clear case of fraud. The amounts stolen in this scheme could be higher. We direct the EACC to swing into action and fish out the perpetrators of the fraud,” said Osotsi.

Audit report

The committee was considering the County bursary fund, County Executive Committee and Chief Officers Car Loan and Mortgage scheme for the financial years 2019/20, 2020/2021 and 2021/22 and a status report of the Machakos County Emergency Fund.

According to the audit report for the year ended June 2021, the financial performance reflects general expenses of Sh34.3million which includes bursaries totalling to Sh34,309,984.

However, the statement of performance against County entity’s predetermined objectives shows that bursaries totalling Sh36,550,000 were disbursed during the year resulting to a variance of Sh2,240,052 between the two sets of the reports which was not explained or reconciled.

But area Governor Wavinya Ndeti told the committee that her administration had reconciled the difference of Sh2,240,052 saying that it was an addition of bank charges in the main Bursary which stood as Sh83,459, Bursary operational account Sh4,575 fund administration expenses of Sh1,966,050 and the surplus Sh185,968 being balance carried forward for the year.

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