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