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Sakaja blows Ksh1.2b on trips in nine months

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 12:21 | By
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja speaking during a previous meeting. PHOTO/Print
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja speaking during a previous meeting. PHOTO/Print

Nairobi County government blew Sh1.21 billion on local and foreign trips in the first nine months of the last financial year 2023-2024.

The Controller of Budget (COB) in a report revealed that the Executive spent Sh902.19 million while Sh314.24 million was spent by Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).

During the period, expenditure on domestic travel, which trips within Kenya amounted to Sh567.60 million, comprising Sh244.76 million spent by the County Assembly while the County Executive spent Sh322.84 million.

Expenditure on foreign trips amounted to Sh658.83 million, with MCAs spending Sh69.48 million while Sh589.35 million was spent by the county executive.

In a report, CoB Margaret Nyakang’o revealed that the County Assembly failed to provide documents and details for the foreign travel.

Did not provide information

“The County Assembly did not provide information on foreign travel despite the Controller of Budget approving 12 foreign travel requests over the nine months of the financial year,” reads the report.

During the period under review, the executive undertook 10 foreign trips.

Giving details of each trip, CoB highlighted that 19 officers traveled to Marrakech, Morocco, from June 10 to June 24, to attend a proactive management programme, with the trip costing of Sh37,235,843 million.

In December 2023, 14 officers attended a seminar on leadership management and conflict resolution in Vancouver, Canada, at a cost of Sh10.92 million.

Another group of 14 officers traveled to Vancouver for a workshop on the same topic, with expenses amounting to Sh9.6 million. Several trips were also made to Dubai, New York, and other locations.

Eight officers participated in a personal branding and professional summit in Dubai from August 22 to September 7, 2023, costing Sh8.99 million.

Another set of eight officers attended a series of summits on the sidelines of the 8th United Nations General Assembly in New York, US from September 16 to September 23, 2023, spending a total of Sh8.7 million.

Additionally, eight officers were sent to Vancouver, Canada for a conference on experimental learning and process implementation from June 30 to July 30, 2023, at a cost of Sh6.76 million.

In October 2023, seven officers traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, to attend the FIAT/IFTA World Conference, at a cost of Sh5.36 million.

Water inclusivity

During the same month, eight officers participated in a water inclusivity and sewerage conference in Tokyo, Japan, at a cost of Sh5 million.

At the same time, group of officers attended the global meeting of school meals in France, incurring a total cost of Sh4.69 million.
In its findings, COB noted that failure to provide information to the Controller of Budget was against Section 16 of the CoB Act, 2016.
The executive also failed to provide documents for the foreign trips, the CoB noted.

“Information on bank overdrafts and borrowing, status reports on outstanding pending bills, details of bank accounts being operated and information on foreign travel was not provided,” reads the report in part.

As a result, it was recommended that the4 county government officials concerned be charged with failure to respond to any inquiry by the Controller of Budget as specified in Section 16 of the CoB Act 2016.
“The county government should ensure they operate within the law and be accountable for public resources,” reads the report further.
Two weeks ago, the county government was on the spot after it emerged that his administration has paid about Sh1.4 billion to 30 legal firms despite concerns of skyrocketing huge legal pending bills.
Data from the Controller of Budget (COB) revealed that Sakaja’s administration requested COB to be facilitated to pay the 44 law firms.

In what could raise eyebrows, COB avers that most of the payments involved cases of the county executive and only about 29 million was used to pay for a case at the county assembly.

According to COB, in 2023 alone the county made requisitions totalling about Sh865 million to pay the law firms.

Some of the law firms include Nyareru and Associates advocates Sh1.2 million, Diro advocates LLP Sh 1.8 million, Nyareru and Associates Advocates Sh 2 million, Makallah Theuri advocates Sh 2.7 million.

The last requisition of Sh 60 million was made this year in January to pay 11 firms.

They include Okatch and Partners Sh27 million, Sirma and Company 21 million, Murimi Murango Sh17 million, Adrian Kamotho Sh10 million and Jamal Bake advocates Sh25 million.

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