Detectives Investigate Fictitious Travel Allowance Payment Cases At City Hall

Sources told The Weekly Vision that detectives from the DCI and EACC plan to carry out investigations into allegations that the county illegally paid out millions of shillings as allowance and per diem

Senior officers at City Hall are in panic mode after word leaked out that detectives are about to launch investigations into alleged fictitious allowance payments cases for seminars they never participated in. It is claimed that a number of senior staff members in the Johnson Sakaja led administration have been pocketing travel allowances without even leaving their offices.

Sources told The Weekly Vision that the detectives drawn from the DCI and EACC plan to carry out investigations into the allegations that the county paid out millions of shillings as allowances and per diem, according to the Auditor General’s report. The county has lost millions of shillings in the fictitious payments.

A half-empty hall in Mombasa of an event that was organised for Nairobi county employees, but most never turned up. Image/Courtesy

According to a report by the Auditor General, the county spent huge amounts of money on the scum, there were no supporting documents to back up the payments such as attendance registers, reports of work performed or programs by staff members, invitations to various overseas trainings and and local workshops, imprest requisitions and applications, and proof of travel documents like boarding passes and stamped passports.

Targeted for investigations is the county’s chief officer for finance and economic planning Asha Abdi. It is alleged that she has been a recipient of the money in per diem and allowances to attend local workshops in Mombasa where she hardly attends. Also targeted are the immediate and former acting county secretary Jirus Musumba who is alleged to have pocketed allowances and per diems, yet he hardly attended some of the workshops in Mombasa and some foreign trips. 

The officers in charge of processing the fictitious payments are the Director of Inter-governmental Relations, Joyce Kinyanjui while approvals are done by the Director of Administration, Mr. Ogolla. Sources say the two have always ensured that their allies are on the final list of staff to attend workshops. It is claimed that there are even secretaries and cleaners whose names must always appear on such lists, yet they play no role in the workshops.

One wonders what contribution a supervisor in charge of cleanliness or secretary to a director would make in the discussions for the county’s finance and economic Planning workshop. The idea of carrying joyriders to Mombasa has been a practice which was started by former Director of Administration Dominic Odera and is now perfected by his successor Ogolla. 

Also targeted are accountants in the finance department. Those alleged to have been involved in fictitious payments are Daniel Nguru and Martha Karungari many chief officers, directors, and deputy directors who are known to have been pocketing allowances and per diem without attending workshops.

Sources say attendance registers are faked and signed on behalf of the officers, or some attend workshops for two days but get paid for five days after colleagues sign attendance registers on their behalf. Sources say, detectives will demand proof of travel, accommodation, and copies of signed attendance registers, which sources say they will not produce unless they produce fake receipts.

Sources divulged that those who have been receiving such payments are in panic mode and are busy faking travel and accommodation receipts to cover up their dirty deals. Also to be investigated are fictitious payments made for training expenses. The Auditor General’s reports also show how Ksh. 13,292,580 was paid with respect to various training programs in a single year. 

However, support documents such as need assessment reports, training programs from training institutions, invitations to the training, and authentic travel documents, among other information, were not provided for the audit.

Detectives are said to be keen on reports that the former ward development fund CEO, Josephine Mutinda, allegedly received millions of shillings in dubious payments in the form of allowances.

Sources also divulged that detectives are also pursuing fictitious claims and mismanagement of imprest. Targeted is the office of Deputy Governor during the tenure of former Governors Mike Sonko and Ann Kananau. Well-placed sources revealed that the then director of administration, Odera, and one secretary Mary Agutu pocketed impress for the office of Deputy Governor while presenting fake receipts to account for the same.

It is said that even though the office remained vacant for four years, Agutu received a monthly imprest, yet there was no activity taking place in the office of the deputy governor. The approval was done by Odera, and the two shall be required to account for the millions they received as impreset for the ghost office.

At the office of the County Secretary, Principal Records and Information Officer based at the County Secretary’s office is also known to have received allowances and per diems for both local and international travel. She is known to have ‘made’ several foreign trips and attended training, most of which she never attended in person. Her name is always on the list of attendees at Mombasa work trips, but due to the nature of her job, she rarely leaves the office but receives allowances and per diems.