By The Weekly Vision
Top officers at Nairobi City County’s transport department have allegedly been siphoning fuel through manipulation of figures and pocketing huge amounts of money, The Weekly Vision has learnt. When Governor Johnson Sakaja took over the leadership at City Hall, one of the promises he made was that he would ensure county vehicles are fueled at the county fuel depot in Industrial Area. However, it is not known why he has delayed implementing his promise, but sources say the governor is under pressure from cartels that have been benefiting from the scam not to implement the promise.
Governor Sakaj should invite investigating agencies to investigate the fuel scam, which has so far led to the loss of millions of shillings. At the centre of the scam is former Director of Administration Domnic Odera, Deputy Director Fleet Management James Osodo, the in charge of garages Mwangi Ukoo, and charge of fuel Ochieng. According to the report, the county may have lost millions of shillings through a well-planned scam by the four officers entrusted with the fueling and maintaining of county vehicles.
Under investigation are payments in respect of fuel, oil, and lubricants amounting to Ksh. 90,217,637. It has been discovered that the management did not maintain an updated fuel register and fuel statements from service providers indicating the vehicle, period, and quantity of fuel consumed. In addition, the fleet department operated seven (7) fuel smart cards, which were used in fueling one hundred and seventy-six (176) county vehicles that were in good condition during the years 2021/2022.
The vehicle fueling system was prone to abuse since the smart cards, which were not used exclusively for fueling a specific county vehicle, could be used to fuel any vehicle, including non-county vehicles. Further, the officers did not maintain data on the quantity of fuel consumed by each vehicle, and most drivers did not record the odometer reading in the work tickets for each distance covered. It was not possible to reconcile the fuel consumed with the distance covered on the work tickets. Sources say that fuel cards are used to fuel non-county vehicles, including the private vehicles of some of the city hall’s top officers and MCAs private vehicles, as long as you are in good standing with the custodians of the cards.
Additionally, a report by The Auditor General has also exposed the financial statements reflecting an amount of Ksh.2,981,200 in respect of payment for services to a supplier for facilitation of a retreat on County Organizers structure for 30 drivers at a rate of Ksh. 5,220 for five (5) days, all totalling Ksh. 783,000; eighty (80) gala night dinners at the rate of Ksh. 7,540 totalling Ksh. 603,200 and fifty (50) full conferences for 5 days at the rate of Ksh. 6,380 per person per day, totalling Ksh. 1,595,000.00
The total for the retreat services provided was Ksh. 2,981,200, which was paid for a retreat whose venue was not disclosed for audit review. In addition, the County paid allowances to the drivers totalling Ksh. 1,700,000.00. However, the number exceeded the maximum of fifteen (15) days allowed for retreats. Further, supporting documents such as work tickets, a signed attendance register and reports for the respective retreat were not attached in support of the expenditure. Some of the drivers claim they were not paid the per diem alleged to have been paid meaning somebody pocketed the driver’s money.