- Mr Ouko also notes that millions of shillings were spent on people who did not sign any vouchers.
- Questionable payments running into tens of millions of shillings were made to people without national identity cards and to others who gave duplicate names.
- There also was disparity in the payouts as some members received Sh400,000 while others got as low as Sh10,000.
The government irregularly paid millions of shillings to people masquerading as internally displaced persons in the last financial year, according to a report by Auditor-General Edward Ouko that raises questions as to whether the anomalies were due to fraud or poor accounting practices.
The report, currently before the National Assembly for consideration, shows the money in question was part of Sh2.7 billion withdrawn from the National Humanitarian Fund at the National Treasury to help Kenyans displaced by, among others, resource conflicts and political violence.
Questionable payments running into tens of millions of shillings were made to people without national identity cards and to others who gave duplicate names.
Mr Ouko also notes that millions of shillings were spent on people who did not sign any vouchers.
As a result, he says, “although schedules of payment to internally displaced persons were provided for the audit review”, these anomalies put “the validity and propriety of the expenditures” to question.
The National Treasury was in charge of the fund, but the payment was overseen by the National Coordination Consultative Committee (NCCC) under the Devolution and Planning ministry.
County commissioners that work under the Interior ministry coordinated the county payments.
The Sh2.7 billion was part of a Sh20 billion compensation scheme for IDPs then President Mwai Kibaki’s administration launched during his last term in office. The payment entailed wiring the monies directly to the victims’ bank accounts.
In 2013, the Jubilee administration took over the compensation scheme, but corrupt cartels infiltrated the process and registered bogus IDPs at a fee. The fake IDPs later benefited from the fund at the expense of the genuine ones.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly, which is chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, is currently scrutinising the report.
PAC has lined up retinue of witnesses, among them National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, for interrogation.
The report shows that Sh17.8 million was paid to IDPs from 16 counties with duplicate names. Further, for every duplicate name, according to Mr Ouko, only one matched the identification card number provided. The other similar name whose identification card number was provided appeared to belong to a different person, according to data from the National Registration Bureau (NRB).