Auditor general Edward Ouko has unearthed a Ksh1.8 billion mega scandal that was executed NYS-style in the 2016/2017 financial year at the prisons department.
The scandal, according to Ouko entails payments made to phoney suppliers, double payments for goods and services and procurement of fake bulletproof vests and jackets.
In one instance, the prisons management led by former commissioner general Isaiah Osugu paid Ksh304.4 million for food in various prisons. However, nothing could be traced as having been supplied to the prisons in terms of food.
Another Ksh2.4 million was paid to two suppliers on behalf of Kibos Medium Prison for food that was never delivered.
Ksh12.4 million meant for pending bills for Kisumu Main Prison were wired from the headquarters, but the money was never paid to the suppliers.
“Indications are that the payments were irregularly made to recipients who did not supply food to the prison,” read the report in part.
Double payments for Naivasha, Eldoret and Kakamega Prisons and Shikusa Borstal amounted to Ksh22.5 million.
According to records scrutinized by the auditors, Ksh7.4 million, Ksh10.7 million and Ksh10 million were pending at Meru Women’s, Nyeri Medium and Naivasha Medium Prisons, respectively. This is despite lack of supply evidence in the said prisons.
The auditors further revealed that some of the suppliers who were paid were not aware, since they did not even bid for the tenders.
“Verification at the prisons revealed massive irregularities as the purported suppliers had never been contracted to supply food and there were no deliveries or receipts at the three prisons,” added the report.
A list kept at the headquarters indicated that a total of Ksh288.6 million was pending bills but could not be traced to specific prisons.
Ksh18.6 million paid for food supplies was still indicated as part of the pending bills, suggesting a plan to loot the monies through double payment.
A total of Ksh43.1 million was lost through procurement of fake bulletproof vests and jackets. 300 substandard bulletproof jackets and 300 bulletproof vests were purchased for Ksh22.2 million and Ksh20.9 million, respectively.
“Audit inspection carried out revealed that the body armour received do not have ballistic panels and cannot be used to protect staff against rifle fire, ammunition, knife stabs and sharp or pointed instruments,” noted the report.
Also questioned is Ksh128.6 million paid for firewood for prisons countrywide, where there was no proof of delivery.
Ksh24.8 million was issued for construction of a perimeter wall at the Eldoret Prisons, but prisoners were used to do the work at an additional Ksh7.5 million. Prisoners are not paid for services they render while in jail.
The revelations come days after the Ethics and Anti-corruption commission foiled a Ksh4.8 billion scandal at the same department.