Auditor General Raises Alarm on New Ksh5.7 Billion Scandal

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The Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu raised an alarm over a looming Ksh5.7 billion scandal at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). 

In her latest audit report on NCPB status tabled in Parliament, Gathungu noted that the NCPB parcels of land distributed across various parts of the country were illegally secured and shared by individuals and entities for commercial gains.

“In view of these issues, the ownership by the board of the properties could not be confirmed,” read the 2019/20 financial year report in part.“No records were provided to indicate the effort made by NCPB to recover these parcels of lands,” it further stated.

Maize silos and driers at the Eldoret National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot.

Maize silos and driers at the Eldoret National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot.

FILE

She warned that the government risked losing billions of shillings if the encroachment isn’t curbed and the accused persons arrested. 

Affected counties included Bungoma, Nakuru, Kisii and Kericho, with private entities taking over, fencing, and even leasing off the land irregularly. 

The land where the Bungoma NCPB silos are located was said to have been leased to a garage operator, while in Kisii, individuals reportedly put up structures on its 0.0167 hectares and 0.0302 hectares blocks of land respectively.

Documents for the Nakuru Land measuring 0.0878 hectares could also not be traced, and hence land could not be physically identified.

Gathungu also claimed that permanent houses were built on the Kericho NCPB institution’s land with the ‘owners’ having allotment letters, therefore, claiming legal ownership.

The report has raised concern about NCPB’s financial situation quoting its high liabilities, which currently stand at Ksh19.25 billion. This amount includes the Ksh651.79 million the corporation owes the Export Trading Company.

National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) constituted last week, is set to discuss the report. 

The scandal comes nearly a year after Sirisia MP John Waluke was jailed for 67 years after he was found guilty of embezzling Ksh297 million at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

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