An audit report on Embu County Assembly has unearthed a major scandal in which MCAs and other assemblty officials pocketed millions of shillings in double payments while on trips to Tanzania.
In one instance, officials spent Sh14.5 million for a five-day trip to Arusha. MCAs and top county assembly officials received millions of shillings in travel allowances and per diem. Among those who travelled are 34 MCAs, two aides, one clerk, one driver, one security officer and 15 members of the executive.
The speaker Kariuki Mate was paid Sh206,358, the clerk Sh288,901, 33 MCAs Sh7,500,477, the bodyguard and and aide spent a total of sh366,261, Sh600,000 was paid out as transport while members of the executive received a total of Sh5.6 million. There was however no invitation letter including the itinerary indicating the places to be visited and the actual activities to be carried out by the participants during the five days.
Although the participants were paid per diem and their transport costs fully catered for, the auditor points out that a further Sh279,000 was irregularly paid to various hotels in Arusha for supper and breakfast for participants, resulting in a double payment. “No reports or documented lessons learnt from Arusha tour were provided for audit review hence value for money may not have been realised,” says the auditor. The auditor has also unmasked Sh 3.5 million paid out to all MCAs for transport and as per diem for four days during the Second Annual Devolution Conference in Kisumu.
Of this, Sh2.8 million was paid as allowances, Sh200,640 (Transport), Sh205,200 (registration), 205,000 (entertainment) and a refund of Sh9,610. Although the MCAs travelled by air to Kisumu and were paid their full per diem for the four days, a bus was hired for Sh50,000 to transport unspecified people to Kisumu.