Cow auction in Uasin Gishu sparks assets row

MCAs demand Mandago's administration to produce updated assets register

In Summary

• The Uasin Gishu assembly has demanded the finance department produce an updated assets register, saying it's not known how many animals were sold, prices, buyers and details.  

•They want the register to comply with the Public Finance Management Act , 2012, Section 149. Exactly what does the county own?

Uasin Gishu livestock auction at Chepororwa Agricultural Training Center on February 4th
AUCTION: Uasin Gishu livestock auction at Chepororwa Agricultural Training Center on February 4th

Uasin Gishu's auction of hundreds of livestock has caused an uproar and MCAs claim the administration has been carelessly disposing of assets.

Dairy cows, sheep and goats were sold on February 4 at the Chepororwa Agricultural Training Centre. Numbers and details were not immediately disclosed.

Governor Jackson Mandago presided and said the annual auction was intended to sell farmers quality animals to improve their breeds. The county is urging farmers to diversity and not depend wholly on maize.

On Wednesday, MCAs complained Mandago's administration was mismanaging assets and demanded an updated assets register. The motion was moved by Cheptiret MCA Gilbert Tenai.

MCAs demand the Finance department comply with the Public Finance Management Act, Section 149.

“The county must always maintain an assets register that is current, accurate and available to the public and the office of the Auditor General. That is the register that should be produced here in the assembly," Tenai said.

Majority leader Josphat Lowoi seconded the motion and said there were no clear records of animals sold at the auction.

“There are no clear records of the assets at the centre, the number of animals and details of the buyers. But the centre is a public asset managed by the county," Lowoi said.

The county's recent auction of vehicles also had raised concerns, he said, as no register was provided as required by law.

Deputy speaker Hosea Lamai who presided over the session said Finance executive Julius Ruto will be summoned to explain the disposal of county assets.

“We have taken this matter seriously because it's of great public concern," he said.

Mandago said he was pleasantly surprised that many women showed up to buy milk goats, adding the milk was of high quality and value.

He said competition at the auction was intense, pushing the prices up.

The training centre at Chepororwa is not a commercial enterprise but is involved in breeding and helping farmers improve their livelihoods, the governor said.

(Edited by V. Graham)