Francis Kimemia Under Fire: Allegations of Missing Millions Shake Nyandarua

Francis Kimemia

Francis Kimemia, the former governor of Nyandarua, finds himself in a similar situation as other individuals associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta, such as former Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.

While Yatani is currently being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for the alleged misappropriation of billions of shillings during his time as the governor of Marsabit, Kimemia is also facing scrutiny for unaccounted funds amounting to hundreds of millions of shillings in the county’s budget, which is now being attributed to him.

Appearing before the Senate County Public Investments and Special Funds committee to answer on missing Sh58 million in three county funds, Governor Kiarie Badilisha who succeeded Kimemia told the committee that the right person to be answerable is the former governor as the misappropriation went under his tenure.

Governor Badilisha said he has been unable to obtain critical information regarding expenditures relating to the Bursary Fund, Emergency Fund and Car Loan and Mortgage Fund for three financial years between 2020 and 2022.

Mr. Badilisha was appearing before the committee to answer questions from the Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu report on the use of the funds in which he said his administration is unable to answer to his predecessor’s financial mess.

The committee established that the devolved unit spent Sh57.53 million from the funds in the financial year ended June 2020.

Of the total amount, Sh5.24 million was disbursed as bursaries to Sh329 students whose admission numbers were not indicated for verification.

Summon Kimemia

The audit also flagged some Sh40 million reportedly spent on emergencies.

With the growing concern and endless questions, Mr. Badilisha has urged the Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi-led committee to summon the former governor to answer to the audit queries.

“The [bursary] expenditures cannot be verified. We have written to all beneficiary schools since we have no evidence to show that the funds reached the schools,” said Governor Badilisha.

“This is why we are asking this committee, in public interest, to summon the people who were in office at the time to explain the flagged expenditure,” he added.

The governor urged the committee to invoke Article 125 of the Constitution to summon his predecessor to explain the issues raised by Ms Gathungu.

Article 125 authorises Parliament or its committees to summon any person to appear before them in order to give evidence or provide information.

“This is the only viable option because I am able to adequately respond to these issues,” said the governor.

Senator Osotsi gave the county government 30 days to seek responses from the beneficiary schools to confirm whether they received the funds to them, failing which the committee will summon Mr Kimemia to explain the expenditure.

“We are going to mark this query as unresolved until we get a response from the county government in 30 days. If that is not possible, then we will invite the former governor to appear before us to shed light on the issue,” said Mr Osotsi.

During the meeting, it also emerged that the county government was operating two bursary fund bank accounts, a move that was flagged by Ms Gathungu as unnecessary as it cost the county extra bank charges.

Further, it emerged the officials managing the bursary funds were not keeping records of the expenditures.

Sh500 million spent few days to the Election Day

Mr. Kimemia is also haunted by a different bursary saga in which the County’s Assembly question how his administration hastily spent Sh500 million only a few days to the August 9, 2022 election.

A former County Executive Committee member who is now a ward rep claimed the governor’s bursary kitty that had Sh500 million was exhausted a few days before the elections.

Kiriita MCA Milka Wanjiru said a large percentage of the kitty for the current financial year was utilised in a span of three weeks.

Ms Wanjiru, who was a Water executive in ex-governor Francis Kimemia administration, made the claim on the floor of the assembly.

“The money was disbursed haphazardly in a span of three weeks to the election.” She said.

She made the claims when she sought a statement from the assembly’s Education Committee.

“The county runs two bursary funds – one under the department of Education and the other under the governor’s office. The county executive had also created the Governor’s Scholarship Fund for needy students and it had been allocated close to Sh500 million,” she told the hushed House

“We need to know how much was allocated, what each beneficiary got,”

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