Auditor-General Edward Ouko

Auditor-General Edward Ouko

Two days later, Auditor General Edward Ouko released an audit report that showed taxpayers could have lost about Sh92 billion under suspect circumstances.

Various State agencies spent about Sh67 billion without producing supporting documents, while the remaining Sh25 billion was excess expenditure, which means the money was spent without parliamentary approval as required by law.

The perennial wastage and plunder of public funds has seen Kenya come in at position 145 out of 174 nations in Transparency International?s global corruption perception index.

And in the 2013-14 fiscal year whose accounts were audited, only 1 per cent of Sh1.2 trillion of taxpayer funds was lawfully and effectively spent, Mr Ouko said.

Among the State agencies whose financials showed questionable spending are the ministries of Health, Education, Transport and Infrastructure, Defence, Interior, Agriculture and Energy, the Judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General.

We illustrate just some of the ways Sh92 billion could have benefited the country.

Ministry of Health ? Sh47 billion

The ministry had the highest amount of unsupported expenditure at Sh22.5 billion, with another Sh24 billion spent without parliamentary approval.

With Sh47 billion, the Government could easily meet the expenses of the Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kenya Medical Training College, Kenya Medical Research Institute, and National Aids Control Council, as well as facilitate internship programmes for doctors, clinical officers and nurses, ensure free access to all health centres and dispensaries, and run a slum healthcare programme.

The same amount could pay the entire Sh38 billion the Government needs for its medical equipment leasing programme. Under the project, two hospitals in each of the 47 counties would be equipped with modern theatre, surgical and sterilisation, laboratory and kidney dialysis equipment, ICU facilities, digital X-ray machines, and ultrasound imaging equipment.

And there would still be Sh9 billion left over for training 100 oncologists, 120 general practitioners and 100 cardiologists at the cost of Sh10 million annually.

Ministry of Transport ? Sh22.7 billion

The Government would need to add just Sh4.3 billion to Sh22.7 billion to build another Thika Road.

The amount could also tarmac 1,135 kilometres of road at the cost of Sh20 million each.

And with the numerous ferry problems, the Government would only need to add Sh2.3 billion to build a link between Likoni and the South Coast.

Ministry of Education ? Sh13 billion

With Sh13 billion, no pupil in any part of the country would have to study under a tree. At the cost of Sh700,000 per classroom, Sh13 billion would be enough to build 395 classrooms in each county.

Or with Sh1 billion more, the Government would pay for free primary education this financial year.

Also, Sh13 billion would be enough to recruit 10,000 teachers at the cost of Sh4.6 billion, promote others at the cost of Sh2.2 billion, with the rest left over to help university students get loans from the Higher Education Loans Board.

Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice ? Sh2.7 billion

One of the challenges the office of the Attorney General has been facing is the loss of lawyers to the private sector. Poor pay in the AG?s office has meant that most lawyers use the office as a launching pad to private practice. The result has been a backlog of cases. But with Sh2.7 billion, the AG?s office would be able to hire 50 lawyers, and pay them a monthly salary of Sh200,000 each for 22 years.

Ministry of Energy ? Sh2.4 billion

Sh 2.4 billion is enough to cover the cost of the last-mile connectivity project, which intends to connect a minimum of 284,200 homes and 30,000 commercial premises.

Ministry of Agriculture ? Sh1.3 billion

Assuming the price of fertiliser remains constant at around Sh2,600, with Sh1.3 billion, the Government can deliver about 483,870 bags of DAP fertiliser to farmers for free.

It could also buy a similar number of bags of maize from farmers for the strategic grain reserve.

With Sh1.3 billion, the Government could also construct 100 fishing ponds in every county, or revive the Kenya Meat Commission, the pyrethrum sector, and create a disease-free zone.

Judiciary ? Sh 463 million

The current tussle between Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and the Law Society of Kenya?s Coast branch, with the latter threatening to have the CJ sent home, would not need to play out ? Sh463 million is enough to build two High Courts, in Mombasa or elsewhere, and renovate two others.

By Dominic Omondi, The Standard

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