Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua has a target on his back after the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) lifted the lid over missing billions during his tenure as the Machakos Governor.
While probing a report released by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, the Senate Public Accounts Committee raised alarm over stalled projects that were awarded to contractors during Mutua’s 10-year term.
One of the projects highlighted was the construction of two storey buildings which started in 2015 but whose completion is still uncertain.
According to the report, the former county boss awarded the contract in 2018 for the construction of the two buildings, a 12-storey building valued at Ksh399 million and an 11-storey worth Ksh394 million.
Tourism CS Alfred Mutua at a meeting in New York in September 2023.
Gathungu, however, raised concerns that the contractors have since abandoned the projects as per a site visit her office made in October 2022.
Both of the buildings, which were set to be completed in eight weeks but remain incomplete, have drained a combined Ksh176 million.
The report also highlighted other incomplete projects including Mumbuni Dam, valued at over Ksh750 million and stadiums that were expected to take up Ksh147 billion.
In total, all pending projects from his 10-year tenure amounted to Ksh1.8 billion, placing the county among the most wasteful.
The CS was also accused of leaving the office ridden with pending bills to the tune of Ksh3.1 billion and Ksh1.14 billion as legal fees.
With the legal bills, Machakos ranks at the top for its contentious payments representing 37 per cent of all contentious bills by counties.
The accusation leaves a checkered past in the Tourism CS’s record to hit the ground in 2013 with grand promises to turn Machakos County into a breathtaking city.
As of 2021, the then Governor was already periodically placed on the guillotine after his pipeline dream to build a city from scratch stalled after consuming a total of Ksh1.3 billion.
While appearing before the Senate in July of that year, Mutua was also hard-pressed to answer on Ksh1.19 billion pending bills which have since tripled. At the time, he was also accused of installing a substandard running track at a stadium.
In an effort to actualise the city, the governor also awarded seven building projects to contractors in 2019 but as of 2021, none of the projects had been completed.
In response, the former Governor noted that three projects were completed and the pending ones were frustrated by the slow release of funds from the treasury.
He also revealed that the contractor who installed the fake running track was kicked off the project and the remainder of the payments were halted.
“Management has initiated contract termination and subsequent legal action necessary to ensure there are no losses of public funds,” he stated at the time.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu during the launch of Transparency International Strategic Plan on February 21, 2023.
Office of the Auditor General