Has Alfred Mutua Been Stealing Machakos Money?
The Auditor General’s report on misuse of county funds, released yesterday, puts him on the spot for several misappropriations of public money.
Mutua is a brilliant PR guy, and he has mastered the art of keeping himself in the headlines. From Machawood, to the 120 police cars, to the ambulances, to Machakos People’s Park, each of these have received immense media coverage. I do not remember anything he launched silently. This has in turn opened him up to the public eye, and it may come to haunt him.
It appears the procurement process in Machakos County is broken, or has been deliberately ignored. Upon taking office, Mutua came with a staff of 156 without doing any human resource audit or engaging the County Public Service Board of Kenya. These people are all getting paid from Machakos coffers.
During the late Mutula Kilonzo’s funeral, Machakos spent Sh2.8 million, including a donation of Sh1 million. Another Sh1 million was spent to pay Homeboyz Entertainment for their public address system.
Mutula was not from Machakos but from neighbouring Makueni.
Mutua is also said to have spent a sum of over Sh26 million to buy Subaru Outbacks for his county executives, which were however registered under personal names and not the county.
The Auditor General writes that Machakos operates 6 confidential accounts. Between April and June, over Sh7.5 million unaccounted money was withdrawn from them.
In just 3 months, Machakos had Sh14 million in irregular payments, including Sh500,000 allegedly spent to decorate the governor’s lawn (there’s no supporting evidence).
In another instance, Mutua spent Sh500,000 on expenses for French investors, and Sh 258,000 for mobile toilets and tents. No receipts were attached.
We will have to see how this develops.