Ezekiel Mutua, the former CEO of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), received Sh3.1 million in excess salary in the financial year ending June 2020.
KFCB had paid a total of Sh15.3 million as of June 30, 2020, with Sh9.2 million and Sh6.1 million paid in the financial years 2019-20 and 2018-19, respectively.
The excess payment was highlighted as irregular by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. The payment was approved by the Board without the approval or advisory by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
According to a report seen by Kahawa Tungu, the Board at a meeting on January 31, 2019, decided to increase Mutua’s pay from Sh348,840 to Sh1,115,850 per month.
The board also allowed the revised pay to be backdated to November 2018.
“The payment was made without the approval and advisory of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission,” Gathungu said.
Employee costs at the film classification board also increased from Sh148 million to Sh208 million for the period under review.
“Consequently, the validity of the expenditure of Sh9,204,120 included in the employee costs for the year could not be confirmed,” added Gathungu.
The audit also revealed that the board spent Sh47.5 million on six million film categorization stickers between November 3 and January 2012.
The auditor general also noted that some stickers had not been sent to regional offices costing the taxpayer some Sh26 million.
“Examination of stores records maintained by the board revealed that 2,784,789 stickers valued at Sh26 million had not been used or issued to the regional offices across the country,” the report shows.
“The management acknowledges that the inventory is slow moving and may have become obsolete due to changes in technology.”
She questioned why the board had not included allocations for impairment losses resulting from the delayed dispatches in its books of accounts.
During the period under review, the Film Board was also put on notice for irregular acquisition of ICT equipment and services.
The auditor claims that KFCB did not follow protocol while purchasing computer accessories and data processing equipment for Sh4.4 million.
According to Gathungu, the purchase was done without the use of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology’s framework contracts.
All ICT equipment and services must be sourced centrally by the ICT ministry, according to a directive issued in March 2018.
“Further, management did not provide for audit review approval by the ICT ministry to procure outside the framework contracts as required by circular of March 1, 2018,” she said.
She asserted that the board had broken the law to that extent.
An overspend of Sh63 million on general expenses was also questioned, which management ascribed to an increase in public awareness and activities to educate the public about the board’s purpose.
According to Gathungu, the expenses resulted in pending invoices that ate into the board’s budget for 2019/2020 fiscal year.
“The expenditure was not supported by approved work plans and approved budget allocation in line with Section 43(2) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012,” the report adds.
“Under the circumstances, the board is in breach of the law.”
Mutua was ousted from the board in August 2021. In February, he lost his bid to overturn his removal.
Employment and Labour Relation Court Judge Maureen Onyango dismissed his application stating that the board erred in appointing him for another five years when he had exhausted two terms of three years each.
“Furthermore, appointing him for a term of five years is in contravention of Mwongozo and the Board’s HR Manual. Therefore, the letter of appointment dated 14th July 2021 appointing him is null and void,” ruled Justice Onyango.
In March, Mutua was named CEO of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).