By The Weekly Vision
Even as President William Ruto pushes for implementation of the slum upgrading projects in the country and his now controversial 3% housing levy deductions on basic pay of civil servants, investigations reveal that top government offices tasked with the management of Kenya Slum Upgrading, Low-Cost Housing and Infrastructure Trust Fund are milking the fund dry.
The top officers have been involved in unauthorized administrative and other operating costs and failing to account for the same. Investigations reveal that the officers spent Ksh.54, 151,293 on administrative and other operating costs against an approved budget of Ksh.50, 000,000 resulting in an unapproved over-expenditure of Ksh.4, 151,293.
Further, the expenditure includes administration fees of Ksh.1, 232,430 and various payments to staff totalling Ksh.18, 843,736 whose basis and justification remain a mystery. In addition, out of the payments to staff, an amount of Ksh.5, 884,819 was described as payments to various officers with no supporting documentation. The accuracy and validity of administrative and other operating costs of Ksh .54, 151,293 need to be investigated.
It has also been discovered that the managers of the fund were fraudulently involved in subsidy from the disposal of houses of Ksh.90, 150,000. The subsidy arose from the transfer of 227 housing units of the Mavoko Sustainable Neighborhood Project to the Civil Servants Housing Scheme at Ksh.632, 150,000 against a market value (Acquisition Costs) of Ksh.722, 300,000 resulting in a subsidy of Ksh.90, 150,000.
However, the approved Cabinet memo authorizing the sale/transfer of the 227 units to the Civil Servants Housing Scheme cannot be traced meaning it was done against a cabinet approval. Further the subsidy of Ksh.90, 150,000 was a loss to the Fund and no justification has been provided as to why the loss was absorbed by the Fund yet the housing units were intended for sale to civil servants at cost price.
It has also been discovered that the managers have failed to pay contractors although they had enough money in the bank to clear outstanding debts. Investigations reveal that there are pending bills due to contractors for work done and certified totalling Ksh.172, 547,235. The officers could not provide reasons for non-payment of the pending bills despite having a bank balance of Ksh.518, 262,835 as of 30 June 2022.