Makueni County Assembly Speaker Hon. Douglas Mbilu and his clerk Kevin Mutuku are on the radar after revelations of malpractice and mismanagement of county funds collected from the assembly’s cafeteria were filed against them. According to a source at the county who spoke to The Weekly Vision on condition of anonymity for fear of victimization, the Assembly operates a staff cafeteria which was opened in March 2021 but whose daily collections could not be traced. Records indicate that a total of Ksh. 365,360 was realized from the cafeteria between March and June 2021 which was not disclosed as part of the revenue for the year ended 30 June 2021.
The operations of the cafeteria reveal that the County Assembly did not maintain a bank account for the cafeteria. It was also observed that customer payments via MPESA were effected through a personal mobile line and later transferred to the accountant, therefore, exposing the transactions to accountability risk.
Further, procured food items for the Cafeteria were paid for from the daily collections and there was no evidence to show that the procurement process applied was within the law. Again, no stock record was provided to ascertain the daily usage of purchased foodstuff items against the stock balances.
The source says there are weak internal controls in the running of the cafeteria which may lead to misallocation and loss of revenue. Our source adds that some members of the County Assembly (MCAs) and the accompanying secretariat staff were paid per diems for activities undertaken within the County where they qualified for meal allowances.
Some MCAs were paid each Ksh. 50,000 as facilitation for public participation for every oversight activity undertaken without account for the float. Each participating MCA was paid transport facilitation of Ksh. 6,000 per day regardless of the distance travelled. In addition, a facilitation fee of between Ksh. 100,000 and Ksh.300, 000 was paid out for each event with no guidance on how to account for the funds.
Further, the County Assembly engaged in an oversight activity on the Covid-19 pandemic from 12th to 13th January 2021 and incurred an expenditure of Ksh. 3,432,200 and an additional Ksh. 3,578,400 report writing sessions held in Nairobi.