The Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK) CEO Irene Mureithi is under pressure from a section of Kenya Kwanza power brokers to quit over alleged corruption deals. She had earlier been kicked out of office but was reinstated by the High Court through an order. She is said to be facing yet another attempt by some powerful forces who claim that she has been named in several scandals.
According to a report by the Auditor General, under her leadership Ksh.1, 788,800 were incurred on airfare. However, supporting documents including, the requisition, authorization and professional opinion on how the procurement for the service was approved were unavailable for audit review. Because of the foregoing, the propriety of Ksh. 1,788,800 could not be ascertained.
Further, the Society had unremitted PAYE at the beginning of the financial year amounting to Ksh.18, 954,676. However, a scrutiny of the PAYE ledger account revealed that the amount had not been remitted to KRA at the close of the financial year and was part of the accounts payable balance of Ksh. 73,608,261.
The continued failure to remit PAYE on due dates attracts interest and penalties. In addition, the accounts payable balances include a brought forward amount of Ksh. 1,485,669 referred to as other creditors which have not been analyzed. During the year under review, the Society paid salaries for October and November 2019 to three officers totalling Khs.1, 146,650 who are not their employees. No secondment letters or any communication from the Parent Ministry indicating the terms and conditions of their services to the Society. In the circumstances, it’s not possible to confirm the propriety of the expenditure of Ksh.1, 146,650.
The power struggle at the society saw Ms Mureithi being sent on compulsory leave in 2019 following adverse media reports and a subsequent public outcry on the alleged massive violation of children’s rights housed in CWSK facilities.
The decision to send her on compulsory leave came after the Ministry of Labour formed a task force to look into allegations that she oversaw corruption and misappropriation of funds. There were also reports of senior managers doing business with society, which is a contravention of the law.
Despite all these scathing allegations, Ms Mureithi somehow found her way back at the helm through the suspected help of influential cronies in the past government. Panic has now gripped the CWSK Board of Trustees after they learnt that a Kenya Kwanza top decision-making organ has demanded that all managers involved being shown the door alongside the CEO.