The Senate Public Accounts Committee on July 24, 2023 took an extraordinary step today by convening to address the alleged embezzlement of a staggering Sh18 billion from Nairobi County’s revenues over a period of three years.
The committee, chaired by Homabay Senator Moses Kajwang, met with Nairobi City Governor Johnson Sakaja and a team from State House, led by State House Comptroller Kato Ole Metito.
The State House team appeared on behalf of the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to respond to the audit queries for the financial years 2017-2021.
The situation came to light after the auditor general’s shocking revelation, which exposed widespread financial mismanagement and potential corruption within City Hall.
Concerns over the glaring discrepancy between the declared revenues by the county government and the actual amounts collected prompted the committee to direct the auditor general to conduct a special forensic audit within the next three months.
Compounding the issue is the lack of access to the county’s revenue system, leading to operational paralysis and hindered responses to audit queries.
Governor Sakaja disclosed that the exclusive administrative access to the system lies with Mr. Simon Imbisi, a former officer of NMS. However, Imbisi has refused to surrender these access rights, raising suspicions of a well-coordinated scheme behind the significant financial gap.
The committee has expressed serious concern over the concentration of access rights in one individual and demanded answers from the State House comptroller regarding the inability to produce Mr. Imbisi for questioning.
The loss of a staggering Sh18.46 billion over three financial years has prompted the auditors to emphasize the critical importance of access to the revenue system to verify the figures and uncover the truth behind the missing funds.
Despite attributing the delay in producing Mr. Imbisi to difficulties in locating NMS officers, the State House comptroller has been accused by the Senate committee of lacking the necessary seriousness in resolving the matter promptly.
To restore transparency and mitigate further damage, the committee has called for Mr. Imbisi to grant access to the county government while severing any association with either the county or NMS.
This move is seen as a crucial step in uncovering the truth behind the missing funds and holding accountable those responsible for the alleged mismanagement of public funds.
The Senate committee’s unprecedented actions signify the seriousness with which they are treating this audit and their commitment to safeguarding the county’s finances.