How Tana River County Governor Spent Millions On Hired Helicopters At The Expense Of Development

Tana River Governor Major (Rtd) Dhadho Gaddae Godhana is alleged to have spent Ksh.34 million on hiring choppers at the expense of the much-needed development, the governor approved the expenditure to be incurred on the hire of helicopters and has since not provided any justification for the use of helicopters as a means of travel at the expense of service delivery.

 At one time, when he appeared before the Senate’s Public Accounts Committee, he could not explain why his administration allegedly spent billions of shillings but with little effect felt being felt on the ground. Further, details of the assignments carried out and their relevance to the county, as well as procurement documents, cannot be traced. The governor also approved a payment of Ksh. 110,782,070 in respect of legal fees, but procurement documents confirming that the legal services were competitively sourced, fee notes, details of cases handled and the status of those cases, amounts paid to date, outstanding balances (if any per case), evidence of court attendance, rate as per advocate remuneration roll, and case files showing the value of each case could not be traced. 

 Further, Kshs. 35,591,400 was paid to two firms that were not prequalified to provide services to the county. Investigations further reveal that the governor also authorized the payment of Ksh. 52,450,000 to acquire five Toyota 4×4 land cruiser ambulances, It has since been established that one ambulance has not been delivered while another ambulance was not branded. 

The executive also approved the payment of Ksh. 55,883,241 to a local garage for repair and maintenance of the county executive’s vehicles, however, a review of the expenditure records revealed that the contract for routine maintenance of the vehicles had previously been awarded to the garage through framework contracting. The contract was renewed in August 2021 for three years without subjecting the extension to the procurement process in line with Section 139(2) a of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.

A review of the payroll data revealed that the County Executive had a total of 2,041 employees, however, summaries of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Database (IPPD) reflected that the County Executive did not deduct compulsory National Social Security Fund (NSSF) statutory dues from only 82 employees. 

The county government could not explain the failure to deduct and remit statutory dues from all the staff as required by Section 21 (1) and (3) of the National Social Security Fund Act, 2013. Further, value-added tax amounting to Kshs. 2,712,931 was not deducted and remitted to the Kenya Revenue Authority.