Education Ministry on Spot Over Missing Ksh5.5 Billion Grant to Universities

  • Education CS George Magoha speaking during a press briefing on Wednesday, April 14
    Education CS George Magoha speaking during a press briefing on Wednesday, April 14
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  • The Ministry of Education (MoE) was put on the spot by the Auditor General over missing Ksh5.5 billion, according to documents before Parliament.

    Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu told MPs MoE's University Education Department failed to produce contract documents, valuation certificates and projects status reports over the grants.

    “It was, therefore, not possible to confirm the validity and propriety of capital disbursements totalling Sh5,580,848,844 for the year ended June 30, 2020,” the documents by Gathungu read in part.

    Auditor General Nancy Gathungu
    Auditor General Nancy Gathungu at a public event in Nairobi in 2019
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    According to Nancy Gathungu, Multimedia University was given Ksh619.5 million more than the funds stipulated amount in the initial reports.

    MoE was put on the spot by the auditor after it emerged the Ministry made an overpayment of Ksh1.8 billion to 2,610 public secondary schools.

    The Ministry paid Ksh26.5 million to five schools whose existence was in doubt since registration certificates and other approval documents required were not given.

    “In the circumstances, it is not possible to confirm the accuracy and validity of the reported subsidies of Ksh58,778,993,798 for the year ended 30 June 2020,” the report before parliament stated.

    Auditors failed to establish the whereabouts of over Ksh150 million since valid lease agreements and approvals for the procurement of offices were not provided for audit verification.

    “Failure to settle bills during the year which they relate distorts the financial statements and adversely affects the budgetary provisions for the subsequent year as they form the first charge,” AG Gathungu stated.

    The Ministry has been roped in scandals over the use of public funds. Last week the Salvation Army called on the government to probe MoE claiming that Ksh3.7 billion was disbursed to non-existent schools.

    Salvation Army Territorial commander Stephen Chepkurui called for the audit to establish if indeed ministry officials disbursed money to bogus secondary schools.

    "The government must develop policies to ensure all loopholes used to steal public funds are sealed. They should also control the establishment of schools to ensure only those that meet standards are allowed to operate," Chepkurui stated.

    "All education stakeholders, including parents and sponsors of the various schools, must join hands to ensure money meant for the development of schools is used for intended purposes. We need to know how billions, in taxpayers' money, was given to non-existent schools," he added.

    President Uhuru kenyatta and Education CS Prof. George Magoha during the launch of Ksh 1.9B school desk project on September 17, 2020
    President Uhuru kenyatta and Education CS Prof. George Magoha during the launch of Ksh 1.9B school desk project on September 17, 2020
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    steal probe