Kakamega Deputy Governor (DG) Phillip Kutima is at the center of a Ksh21 million imprest that has now caused bad blood between two county officials who are claimed to also be involved in the scam.
According to county officials privy to the matter, the deputy governor has used the imprest to turn two county officials against each other.
It is reported that the two health officials are chief officer Everline Mulunji and accounting boss Beatrice Etemesi.
According to letters seen by Kahawa Tungu, Ms Mulunji approved an illegal expenditure of the imprest, totally ignoring the required procedure to be followed.
According to the law, Etemesi, the accounting boss, was the one who was required to certify the expenditure, however she was by-passed by her health boss.
It is recorded that in April 20,2018, Rose Muhanda, a Gender Based Violence (GBV) coordinator, wrote a letter requesting Ksh9.4 million ‘towards transforming health systems for universal coverage activities’ from the director of county health services.
Three days later, Mulunji is noted to have approved the release of the money, disregarding the required procedure.
On the same day, health records and information officer, Michael Kipkoech, drafted a different letter to the county health director requesting for the release of Ksh6.3 million for the same reason which Muhanda’s letter had requested for.
It is further reported that earlier in 2018, the county reproductive health coordinator, Ralpher Mwenesi mailed the director of health asking for the release of Ksh5.2 million, totaling the amount to Ksh21 million that is yet to be returned to the ministry.
Following the release of the money, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya tasked the deputy governor to supervise the surrender of the imprest which should legally be held only for seven days.
As it is, the deputy governor is torn between falsifying documents in a futile bid to normalize operations.
According to a source, Mr Kutima called for a meeting to try to resolve the anomalies in the allocation of the monies last week, which turned chaotic as the officials could not see eye to eye.
It is claimed that Etemesi has refused to bow to pressure by Kutima to have her sign for the clearance of the overdue monies.
However, it is noted that Kulunji, who illegally approved the monies, snubbed the meeting called by the DG.
Kutima has been accused of trying to entangle Etemesi in a bid to shield Mulunji who is the deputy governor’s village-mate, from impending backlash.
During the meeting, Etemesi is stated to have affirmed that the officer who approved the release of the monies should write a letter explaining the motive which led to them by-passing the accounting boss.
With the individuals who requested for the monies being yet to surrender it, 11 months later, it is alleged that the deputy governor is in a state of “panic” as he has failed to deliver on the supervision asked by Governor Oparanya.
Kutima is also claimed to be worried that the missing monies might attract audit questions.