• “The Society has for years now been irregularly receiving money from the public funds budgeted by the National Treasury,” read court papers.
• “The society has been a conduit to continued syphoning of public funds for private use and benefit of few unscrupulous individuals for years unending,” he argues
A city advocate wants the court to stop the government from allocating public funds from the 2022-23 budget to the Child Welfare Society of Kenya.
In a petition filed in court, Benard Okello argues that CWSK is a private entity and should not be getting any funds from the state.
“Even though CWSK is a private entity, it masquerades as a public entity and receives public funds and other resources and the government treats it as a bonafide state corporation,” court paper read.
Okello said that despite CWSK being a private membership society, the state has over the years been including it in the national budget as a beneficiary of public funds, contrary to the law.
“The Society has for years now been irregularly receiving money from the public funds budgeted by the National Treasury,” read court papers.
He further argues that the society is neither a public body nor a body regulated by the government nor audited by the auditor general as required by the Constitution for any entity or person receiving public funds.
“Pending hearing and determination of this application, CS Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Office of the Controller of Budget and CS Treasury be hereby restricted and restrained from allocating or disbursing any money and public funds to the Child Welfare Society,” he pleaded.
They also want the court to order the respective land registrars within whose jurisdictions the properties to register caution as against parcels of land registered in CWSK names.
The parcels of land are in Kisumu, Nairobi, Lodwar, Kiambu, Mombasa 2 plots, Mavoko, Nakuru and Bungoma.
Okello says CWSK is a private entity registered under the Societies Act and has no public mandate nor obligation known in law and is also not accountable for any public duty whether financial or otherwise.
“As such, the society has been a conduit to the continued siphoning of public funds for private use and benefit of few unscrupulous individuals for years unending,” he argues.
He also claims that to conceal these illegal allocations, the budgeting process has not been open and transparent with regards to the reasons for the provisions of public funds to the society which is a private members society without any public mandate or responsibility recognisable in law and any further allocation of public funds to the society would be an illegality.
He says that in 2019, through its life member Boyi Mickey Otolo the society filed a petition in which they clarified that it was not a public entity and was not subject to the Public Finance Management Act neither was it available for auditing by the Auditor General.
“Despite this clarification the Controller of Budget and the National Treasury have continued in total breach of their constitutional and statutory duty to allocate public funds for the society in the successive national budgets,” he said.
Okello says if not stopped, there is a high likelihood that colossal public funds shall continue getting lost, misappropriated and unaccounted for contrary to the principles enshrined under the Constitution and Public Finance Management Act.
(Edited by V. Graham)