Lamu County government is on the spot for allegedly looting millions of shillings through fictitious projects.
According to a recent report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko, the county cannot account for more than Sh149 million spent during the 2017/2018 financial year.
Ouko reveals that the amount was spent irregularly through a fictitious project that was allocated Sh148,472,193 without proper and legal budgeting procedures.
According to Citizen Weekly, county financial records indicated that the money was incurred through an account identified as expenses under the expenditure code 2990105.
However, to the surprise of the Auditor General, there was no expenditure budget under the account specified.
“However, a review of the budget established that there was no expenditure budget under this account. Further the account was not recorded in the financial statement,” Auditor General says.
The report reprimands the county executive led by Governor Fahim Twaha of being behind the irregularity.
Other members in the executive include Abdul Aboud (Deputy Governor), Ahmed Hemed (CeC Finance), Abdu Godana (CeC Livestock and Fisheries), Fahima Arafat (CeC land and Infrastructure), Dimas Mpole (CeC Trade and Tourism), Raphael Munywa (CeC Health, Environment and Sanitation) and Florence Ndungu (CeC Agriculture, Water and Irrigation).
According to the report, the members incurred the expenditure without prior authority contrary to section 53 of the Public Finance Management (County Government Regulations of 2015).
The executive is also on the spot for allocating more money for both its recurrent and development expenditures to the county assembly, a move seen as one aimed at silencing Members of County Assembly.
The county is said to have approved budget of Sh3 billion, comprising of Sh2 billion recurrent expenditure (67pc) and Sh1 billion (33pc) for development expenditure during the 2017/2018 financial year.
The budget also included Sh500 million allocated for the county assembly. Out of the amount Sh350 million was allocated for recurrent expenditure while the reaming Sh150 million was set aside for development.
The Auditor General noted that the Sh500 million which represented 16.5 percent of the total budget exceeded by 9.6 percent the limit laid out in the county financial regulations.
According to Ouko, despite the county allocating more than Sh600 million for 98 development projects, they all stalled.
The money is said to have been illegally diverted and spent irregularly.
Key officers said to be behind the loot include Chief Finance Officer Mariam Bunu and Director of Accounting services Sanaswa Manoah.