Senior officers from former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s administration are under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over allegations of bursary fraud and unaccounted-for car loans and mortgages. This inquiry comes after Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu’s report for the financial year ending June 30, 2021, revealed significant discrepancies.

Key Findings:

  1. Bursary Cheque Fraud:
    • Officials allegedly altered bursary cheques, increasing the amounts by adding zeros.
    • Evidence of collusion between county officials and the managing bank was suggested.
  2. Unsupported Bursary Disbursements:
    • Discrepancies such as 285 applications resulting in 308 bursary awards in Wamunyu ward.
    • Previous fiscal year highlighted Sh88.3 million spent on bursaries without proper documentation of beneficiaries.
  3. Car Loan and Mortgage Fund Mismanagement:
    • A skewed agreement with SBM Bank signed in June 2019 raised concerns.
    • Lack of criteria for administration fees and no interest earned on fund balances.
    • Beneficiaries required to open accounts with the bank, with interest earned used for fund administration.

Official Responses:

  • Governor Wavinya Ndeti:
    • Detected cheque alterations during monthly reconciliations.
    • Followed up with the bank for certified receipts and explanations of discrepancies.
    • Reviewing the car loan and mortgage scheme to establish clear criteria for fund administration and interest earnings.

Senate Committee’s Directive:

The Senate County Public Investments and Special Funds Committee, chaired by Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi, has directed the EACC to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. The committee emphasizes the need for transparency and accountability to prevent future occurrences of such fraud.

As the investigation progresses, the Machakos County government aims to implement stricter controls and oversight to ensure proper use of public funds and support for genuinely needy students.

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