Lands Ministry Cannot Account for Ksh20 Billion - Auditor-General Edward Ouko

  • Auditor-General Edward Ouko stated in a report submitted to the National Assembly that the Ministry of Lands cannot account for Ksh20 billion used in the 2017/2018 financial year.

    The document tabled in Parliament revealed glaring discrepancies in the financial documents of the ministry headed by CS Farida Karoney.

    For instance, Ouko noted that cash in hand as captured in the department's financial statement was Ksh 201,038. However, the same item had a corresponding entry of Ksh8.2 billion in the trial balance.

    In a recurrent bank account managed by the ministry, the balance read Ksh1.8 million against Ksh1.8 billion declared in the trial balance as at the end of the financial year.

    A further Ksh2 billion claimed to have been spent on compensation of employees, was charged to the acquisition of utilities, training expenses, communication, vehicle maintenance, fuel and purchase of office furniture.

    The ministry made payments amounting to Ksh363 million for goods and services delivered and invoiced in the previous year but had not been captured in the accounting books as pending bills.

    Ouko also questioned Ksh946 million pending legal bills that were not disclosed in the ministry’s books at the end of the financial year.

    This comes in the backdrop of revelations by EACC that processes and systems at the ministry are weak and prone to malpractices.

    The anti-graft body established that the Lands Control Board failed to verify identities of interested parties when issuing consent for land transactions.

    As a testament, The Auditor-General had flagged payment of Ksh112 million to a bank that had sued the Land Ministry for preparing and executing a title deed with full knowledge that the property was registered to another party.

    “This is against the Public Officer Ethics Act that requires public officers to carry out their duties to the best of their ability,” Ouko wrote in his report.