BURSARY SCANDAL

County treasury on the spot over unaccounted for Sh54m bursaries

'The response from the Treasury was that all finance matters were being handled by the head of Finance'

In Summary

•Treasury purposely left out Education department as a signatory to the County Bursary Fund.

• Only Sh367 million out of Sh421 million disbursed as bursaries can be accounted for in 2017-18.

Nairobi County Education Department Accountant Rodgers Mokami before the County Assembly Public Accounts Committee
Nairobi County Education Department Accountant Rodgers Mokami before the County Assembly Public Accounts Committee
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

The county government disbursed Sh421 million as bursaries in the 2017-18 financial year but the Education department can only account for Sh367 million.

Further, the department was excluded from being a signatory to the County Bursary Fund account, according to the Auditor-General.

Rogers Mokami, an accountant with the Education department told the county assembly's Public Accounts Committee on Monday that they only handled the paperwork and that all matters pertaining to bursaries were handled by the Finance department.

"I can only confirm that we spent 367 million but for the 421 million shillings, I have no answer. The Treasury is responsible," Mokami said.

He said the sector planned to spend Sh364 million on bursaries but spent Sh367 million.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok sought to be told where the excess Sh3 million came from and Mokami responded that it was passed through a supplementary budget.

"When this happened I was not in the (education) sector but I got the information from the then accountant who was Ezekiah Ojwang," he said.

Director of Education Ruth Owour distanced herself from commenting on the county Treasury reports but said she would submit the report forwarded to the treasury on the issue.

Kilimani MCA Moses Ogeto asked who was the accountant.

"Ojwang was the accountant but in that financial year, the signatories were Ekaya Alamasi, Stephen Mutua and 12 others whose names I don't have. They were added when some cheques were brought to be done manually," Owour said.

Purposely left out

The PAC, which is headed by Wilfred Odalo, was told that the chief officer (Finance), county head of Treasury, chief officer (Education) and assistant director for Education are the required signatories to the county's bursary account.

Owour, who was the chief officer during the year under review, affirmed Mokami's statement that the Education department was not a signatory as required by the Public Finance Management Act.

"The response I got from the Treasury at that time was that all finance matters were being handled by the head of Finance and there was no way that another chief officer can be a signatory," she said.

Odalo ordered the education, procurement and finance officers to appear before his committee again at a later date with the evidence on how the money spent.