Connect with us

Investigations

KURA DG Kinoti On The Spot As Agency Fails To Account For Sh2.7B

Published

on

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) has been in the news lately after the release of a report by the Auditor General. The report details several issues of concern within the organization, and Eng. Silas Kinoti, the Director-General of KURA, has been at the center of the storm.

The Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has once again fingered the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) over its failure to account for Sh2.7 billion advanced to it. Among the issues cited in the report are inadequate maintenance of roads, lack of proper documentation of expenditures, and the use of outdated equipment.

Gathungu in a report regretted that KURA did not have a separate account for this money as the funds were banked in the authority’s main bank’s account adding that the said money was not supported with a cashbook, bank reconciliation statement and bank confirmation certificates.

“In the circumstances the accuracy and completeness of the cash and cash equivalent balance of Sh 2,717, 690, 436 could not be confirmed, reads the report.

Advertisement

In her latest report tabled in the National Assembly last week by leader of Majority Kimani Ichung’wa, Gathungu also regretted that there was no value for money realised over the construction of the newly built footbridge along the Eastern Bypass Road around city cabanas areas as well as the maintenance of the Nairobi Outering road.

With regards to the footbridge, she said that the institution did not get any value for money due to poor road workmanship done on the bridge.

She revealed that physical verification conducted by the institution in February last year, shows that metal bars had been vandalised thus exposing pedestrians to the risk of being run over by speeding vehicles while crossing the road at undesignated areas.  It adds, “In the circumstances, value for money from road assets may not be achieved.”

According to her, Kura maintenance Levy Fund needs to erect tall guardrails of heavy gauge and have a multi-agency approach to protect road assets from vandalism. The construction of the footbridge was carried through funding from African Development Bank (ADB) following the expansion of the 28km Eastern Bypass, which was being expanded into a dual carriageway at the cost of Sh12.5 billion.

Related Content:  Graft: Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria Trapped In EACC Dragnet

Frequent accidents

Advertisement

The queries by Gathungu comes barely four months after motorists plying along bypass in Ruiru, Kiambu County protested over frequent road accidents in the area after over five reported people were killed by speeding motorists at the busy highway.

The bypass dualling project was among 11 major infrastructure initiatives Kenya showcased to international investors during the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, in May 2017.

The Eastern Bypass was constructed as a single carriageway, but since its completion in 2014, considerable urbanisation and commerce along the corridor occasioned significant traffic volumes.

Unpredictable traffic

As a result, severe and unpredictable traffic jams rendered the road unusable as a reliable link to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Advertisement

LWith respect to the outering road, she said that physical verification of the project carried out in February last year had revealed that the designated pedestrian foot bridge at the main junction of the outering road and Thika Road lacked barriers and lighting systems.

Further she lamented that the Tassia road section had open drainages clogged with garbage and overgrown vegetation despite the fact that a firm had been contracted to regularly maintain the drains along the road. “In the circumstances, value for money from road assets may not be achieved,” the report states.

Eng. Silas Kinoti, who has been at the helm of KURA since 2019, has been accused of mismanagement of funds and lack of proper leadership within the organization. In particular, the report raises concerns about the use of funds for road maintenance, which is a critical function of KURA.

The report also notes that KURA did not provide the necessary documentation to support expenditure on various projects. This lack of documentation makes it difficult to determine whether the funds were spent in accordance with the law and regulations.

Eng. Silas Kinoti has defended his record, arguing that KURA has made significant strides in the past few years. He notes that the organization has undertaken several road construction and maintenance projects, and that the projects have been completed on time and within budget.

Advertisement
Related Content:  Lobby Group Seek To Have KURA Senior Director Investigated Over Questionable Wealth

However, critics have pointed out that the lack of documentation and accountability raises serious questions about the effectiveness of KURA’s leadership under Eng. Kinoti. They argue that without proper documentation, it is impossible to know whether KURA is meeting its mandate of maintaining and improving urban roads.

The Auditor General report has sparked a heated debate about the state of KURA and the accountability of public officials in Kenya. Many people are calling for a thorough investigation into the operations of KURA and for those found responsible for mismanagement to be held accountable.

In conclusion, the Auditor General report on KURA raises serious concerns about the management of urban roads in Kenya. Eng. Silas Kinoti, as the head of KURA, has come under scrutiny for his leadership and management of the organization.

One of the most damning revelations in the report is that KURA paid contractors who had not completed their work, resulting in a loss of Sh 51.9 million. This was partly due to Kinoti’s failure to follow due process and ensure that the contractors had fulfilled their obligations before releasing payment.

The report also highlights several instances where KURA overpaid contractors, resulting in a loss of millions of shillings. In one such case, KURA paid a contractor Sh 90 million, even though the contractor had only completed 20% of the work. Kinoti was directly implicated in this case, as he had authorized the payment without following due process.

Advertisement

This latest report is just one of several that have been released over the years highlighting KURA’s financial mismanagement. However, despite these reports, Kinoti has remained at the helm of the authority, with little to no consequences for his actions.

Eng. Kinoti was controversially appointed to the DG position by then transport CS James Macharia despite opposition from insiders that he lacked the integrity of holding such a high office. At the time, many said he was a conduit for Macharia to loot the agency.

Macharia was one of the Uhuru regime CSs who’re on anti corruption scouts with suspicions that he amassed billions from several contracts in the ministries he ran. He’s fondly referred to be one of the four million dollar millionaires in Uhuru’s cabinet.

Related Content:  NSSF Lost Sh9Million In The ARM Recievership Deal

Before his appointment in June 2020, Kinoti had been acting as KURA Director-General since September 2015.

He joined the authority in 2009 as Manager (Roads) and was later promoted to General Manager (Planning and Environment).

Advertisement

At the time, Kinoti, was accused by critics of helping cartels in the transport sector benefit from state projects through procurement malpractice and irregular contracts.

During his reign, KURA has been accused of giving tenders to cronies, then later advertise as a formality.

KURA is accused of having favoured a construction firm identified as Stecol Corporation to do Ksh19 billion works in Nairobi, Kajiado and Kiambu counties.

The firm was involved in the upgrading of Outering Road. It has also been mentioned in the construction of a bridge at AllSops that will join Outering Road and Thika Superhighway.

Stecol Corporation is also said to have been awarded most of the contracts in the regeneration of roads in Nairobi Eastlands.

Advertisement

It is clear that Kinoti’s continued tenure as Director-General of KURA is untenable. His track record of financial mismanagement and incompetence has cost Kenyan taxpayers millions of shillings, and it is time for him to be held accountable for his actions.

In conclusion, the Auditor General’s latest report on KURA’s failure to account for Sh2.7 billion is a damning indictment of the authority’s financial management. Kinoti’s past record and scandals only serve to highlight his incompetence and the urgent need for him to step down from his position. The government must take swift action to hold those responsible accountable and ensure that such financial mismanagement does not continue to occur in the future.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news TIPS, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Most Popular