The auditor’s report on Standard Gauge Railway land acquisition shows that the project lost more than Ksh10 billion in dubious deals.
In the report prepared by the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Risk & Audit Department and the National Lands Commission (NLC) Audit department, KRC and disbursed Ksh3,584,992 to the wrong people who didn’t deserve compensation.
In the first case, the payment of Ksh2,070,000 was wrongly paid to Mr Willy Kiplimo Metto on December 3, 2014 instead of Mr Antony George Mwalimbo. In the second case noted by the report, Mr Joseph Kipchmba Sang received Ksh1,514,992 instead of Mr Joseph Mutuku.
Mr Metto and Mr Sang were not in the master list originated by NLC, however Mr Mwalimbo and Mr Mutuku’s names were substituted in the disbursement schedule.
The report implicates the management for allowing casuals to do the transactions, instead of permanent staffers.
“Our further analysis on the issue revealed that; casuals and not permanent staff were involved in the data capturing process, who also lacked proper segregation of duties,” reads the report in part.
More money was lost at Manyani and Mbololo where KRC and NLC compensated people with structures built illegally on the Railway reserves, which had been earlier earmarked for demolition.
On such structures, close to Ksh23 million was released to undeserving persons, a case of KRC compensating people for its own land.
As per KRC’s Navision database, there are 57 tenants who had been allocated land at Manyani, however as per NLC’s list 78 Project Affected Persons (PAPs) were compensated at Manyani.
Also, a list of 56 PAPs totaling Ksh61,578,705 could not be found on KRC record of Temporary Occupant Licence (TOL) tenants, creating room for fictitious PAPs.
“We noted that the master list provided by NLC had incomplete details relating to PAPs. This included use of a single name, “unkown” and lack of ID numbers. The incompleteness in PAP details limited the assurance of confirming genuineness of PAPs identity,” states the report.
This left a loophole where undeserving PAPs could have been introduced into the system and paid. In total, there is a possibility that Ksh11.3 million was paid to ghost PAPs.
The report also shows that there is a variance of over Ksh10 million between the NLC master schedule and the KRC payment schedule. This implies that the Corporation could have irregularly paid more than the required compensation thus loss of monies.
The auditors complained in the report that valuation reports were not availed to them for review despite many attempts and efforts to acquire them from the NLC valuation department.
At Voi, various land parcels of differing acreages were awarded similar compensation amounting to Ksh1,293,750 each. In total, close to Ksh70 million was awarded to PAPs at Voi. “We therefore concluded that (after physical assessment) the land compensation award process to the PAPs was subjective,” adds the report.
At Mtito Andei, things were not different as more than Ksh43 million may have been lost after KRC paid for government land. The public utilities land which was set aside by the Makueni County Government for stadium, schools, slaughter-house and cemetery were allocated to PAPs irregularly and the later compensation was paid to them instead of Makueni County Government.
The report reveals that the list of ‘affected’ PAPs submitted to NLC was coordinated and compiled by area MCA.
The report also noted inconsistencies between physical land size and their corresponding recorded measurements at Kathekani, creating another loophole for looting.
“We also compared two parcels of land where one parcel appeared to be physically smaller on SGR corridor map than the other one, but according to NLC schedule, the smaller parcel had more acreage than the other one,” reveals the report.
In unexplained duplication and over payments, KRC lost over Ksh64 million of taxpayers money.
There was also a Ksh337 million disparity in valuation for two sisal plantations, DWA Sisal Plantation in Kibwezi and Voi Plantation Ltd at Voi.
Through disbursement of land compensation to the wrong people, KRC lost approximately Ksh3.5 million.
The state corporation also lost Ksh11.3 million through ghost PAP names in the KRC payment schedule but not in the NLC schedule.
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