Probe PS’s push to trans­fer au­di­tor, Mailu tells se­na­tors

Muraguri says he did not de­mand the move, but only asked Trea­sury to post a more com­pe­tent pro­fes­sional to strengthen in­ter­nal sys­tems

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - GIDEON KETER @TheS­tarKenya

Health CS Cleopa Mailu yes­ter­day told the Se­nate Health Com­mit­tee that he in­ter­vened to halt the trans­fer of the in­ter­nal au­di­tor who un­earthed the al­leged loss of Sh5.2 bil­lion.

Ini­tial re­ports in­di­cated that Sh5.2 bil­lion could not be ac­counted for, but the CS later said the amount in ques­tion is Sh3.1 bil­lion, and it was prop­erly used.

Mailu told se­na­tors yes­ter­day when he heard that in­ter­nal au­di­tor Bernard Muchere had been trans­ferred, he called Trea­sury CS Henry Rotich and in­formed him that Muchere was car­ry­ing out a rou­tine in­ter­nal au­dit and chang­ing the au­di­tor mid­way would in­ter­fere with the process.

He asked the com­mit­tee chaired by Mig­ori Se­na­tor Wil­fred Machage to in­ves­ti­gate why Health PS Ni­cholas Mu- raguri de­manded Muchere’s trans­fer.

“I re­ceived a let­ter in July in­form­ing me that the in­ter­nal au­di­tor had been trans­ferred. When I called Rotich, he told me he had re­ceived a let­ter from my PS re­quest­ing that the au­di­tor be trans­ferred. He was to exit the min­istry by the end of Oc­to­ber,” Mailu said.

“That is the evo­lu­tion that this com­mit­tee must find out why. I wouldn’t want to draw a conclu­sion, but I leave it to the com­mit­tee to digest.”

Muraguri, who ap­peared sep­a­rately be­fore the com­mit­tee, de­nied de­mand­ing Muchere’s trans­fer.

He said he only re­quested Trea­sury to post a “more senior and com­pe­tent au­di­tor” to strengthen the in­ter­nal au­dit sys­tem. The PS said it was upon the Trea­sury to de­cide whether to trans­fer the of­fi­cer.

Mailu told the com­mit­tee that an au­dit re­port by au­di­tors from the Health and Trea­sury min­istries will be ready on Fri­day and he will take ac­tion on those im­pli­cated af­ter get­ting the com­plete re­port.

“I can­not act on an in­terim re­port,” he said.

The CS trashed the ini­tial re­port, say­ing some in­di­vid­u­als leaked it to the me­dia be­fore the man­age­ment could re­spond to the queries raised.

He ab­solved him­self of any fi­nan­cial loss through pro­cure­ment, say­ing he is not an IFMIS user and has no role in the pro­cure­ment process.

The au­dit was not a spe­cial re­port of the min­istry, but was just a nor­mal re­port car­ried out on the fi­nan­cial man­age­ment of the min­istry, Mailu said.

Muraguri and the CS were how­ever on the same page over the amount of money in ques­tion, say­ing only Sh3.1 bil­lion was sub­jected to au­dit query.

“Query doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean loss of money. Some of the ques­tions asked by the au­di­tor were straight­for­ward and had we been given an op­por­tu­nity by the au­di­tor to re­spond we would have set­tled the mat­ter,” Muraguri said.

THE CS SAYS HE WILL ACT ON THE COM­PLETE RE­PORT WHEN IT IS READY

/HEZRON NJOROGE

Health CS Cleopa Mailu ap­pears be­fore the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Health yes­ter­day to an­swer ques­tions over un­ac­counted for cash

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