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November, 2019

 

Allemagne: le « Robin des contribuables » et une adversaire de l’extrême droite élus au SPD

Publié le 30.11.2019 à 21h50 par AFP

Le « Robin des contribuables » et une adversaire acharnée de l’extrême droite: encore inconnus il y a quelques semaines, Norbert Walter-Borjans et Saskia Esken ont été élus samedi à la tête du parti allemand social-démocrate SPD.

. Norbert Walter-Borjans, le « Robin des contribuables »

Ancien ministre des Finances de la région Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie, Norbert Walter-Borjans est surnommé « Nowabo ». Mais c’est un autre surnom qui l’a fait connaître en Allemagne, « Robin des contribuables ».

Cet économiste de 67 ans est en effet l’auteur d’une spectaculaire opération de lutte contre l’évasion fiscale: il a acheté en 2011 des données sur des fraudeurs fiscaux allemands présumés en Suisse, dont les avoirs, finalement rapatriés en Allemagne, auraient rapporté plusieurs milliards d’euros à l’Etat.

M. Walter-Borjans, issu d’une famille d’artisans, père de quatre enfants, est entré en politique en 1984 et a rapidement exercé des fonctions en Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie.

De 2010 à 2017, il dirige les Finances du Land. Soutenu par les Jeunes du parti, plus à gauche que M. Scholz, il ne plaide cependant pas ouvertement pour une sortie anticipée de la coalition.

Il est par contre un dénonciateur acharné du néo-libéralisme, une « pampa dans laquelle nous nous laissons conduire par les lobbyistes et mauvais conseillers « .

. Saskia Esken, en lutte contre l’extrême droite

Membre du Bundestag depuis 2013, Mme Esken, 58 ans, engagée à la gauche du parti, a mis la lutte pour l’égalité des chances et l’accès au numérique au coeur de son engagement.

Née à Stuttgart, Mme Esken se dit inspirée par l’engagement social et politique de ses propres parents. Ancienne dactylo, elle a mené à bien un cursus d’informaticienne et de développeuse de logiciels.

Entrée en 1990 au SPD, cette mère de trois enfants a exercé diverses responsabilité dans le Bade-Wurtemberg. Elle s’est en outre engagée contre l’extrême droite, avant même l’émergence ces dernières années du parti AfD. En 2009, elle avait ainsi fondé une « Alliance contre la droite » à Calw (Bade-Wurtemberg) où le parti néonazi NPD voulait installer son siège régional.

Elle est aussi en pointe dans la lutte pour l’environnement. Mme Esken a ainsi été à l’origine d’une initiative visant à assainir les décharges allemandes. Son duo formé avec M. Walter-Borjans a d’ailleurs été soutenu dans cette élection interne par la branche allemande, très remuante, du mouvement Fridays for Future, lancée par la jeune Suédoise Greta Thunberg.

Membre de l’aile gauche du parti, elle est très critique à l’égard de la coalition Merkel et de ses « compromis » permanents.


Meurtre de la journaliste maltaise: les moments-clés de l’affaire

Voici les moments-clés de l’affaire de l’assassinat en octobre 2017 de la journaliste maltaise anticorruption Daphne Caruana Galizia:

– Un attentat sans précédent –

Le 16 octobre 2017, la journaliste blogueuse Daphne Caruana Galizia, qui enquêtait sur la corruption au plus haut niveau, est tuée par une bombe placée dans sa voiture.

Au printemps 2017, elle avait creusé la partie maltaise de l’enquête journalistique sur les Panama Papers et avait été à l’origine de révélations sur des scandales impliquant plusieurs proches du Premier ministre, Joseph Muscat.

La journaliste avait découvert des documents attestant que des sociétés panaméennes appartenant au ministre de l’Energie de l’époque, Konrad Mizzi, et au chef de cabinet de Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, avaient reçu environ 2 millions d’euros d’une société de Dubaï, 17 Black, pour des services non précisés.

Cet attentat, quasi inédit dans un pays de l’Union européenne, a suscité l’indignation en Europe et au-delà.

– Manifestations –

Le 16 octobre, M. Muscat, évoquant sa « plus grande adversaire », promet de retrouver ses assassins.

Le 21 octobre, le gouvernement promet un million d’euros de récompense pour toute information permettant de faire avancer l’enquête.

Le lendemain, à l’appel d’organisations de la société civile, des milliers de Maltais descendent dans les rues. Ils demandent le départ du chef de la police et du ministre de la Justice.

– Trois inculpations –

Le 4 décembre 2017, le Premier ministre travailliste annonce l’arrestation de dix personnes.

Trois hommes au casier judiciaire déjà chargé – les frères Alfred et George Degiorgio ainsi que Vince Muscat – sont inculpés le lendemain, soupçonnés de participation à une organisation criminelle et d’avoir fabriqué la bombe. Ils plaident non coupables.

– « Projet Daphne » –

En avril 2018, 18 médias internationaux ayant repris, dans le cadre du « Projet Daphne » le travail d’enquête de la journaliste sur la corruption à Malte, publient leurs conclusions qui confirment une partie de ses soupçons.

Le ministre de l’Economie, Christian Cardona, est mis en cause, notamment pour ses relations supposées avec l’un des assassins.

– Nouvelle enquête –

Le 20 septembre 2019, le gouvernement nomme un juge à la retraite, Michael Mallia, pour diriger une enquête indépendante sur la mort de la journaliste, avant l’expiration d’une mise en demeure du Conseil de l’Europe qui exigeait une telle procédure.

– Immunité –

Le 20 novembre, un homme d’affaires, Yorgen Fenech, propriétaire de la société 17 Black, est arrêté sur son yacht au large de Malte, alors qu’il tentait de fuir.

Il est officiellement considéré comme une personne disposant d’informations sur l’affaire. Certains médias et la famille de la journaliste le présentent rapidement comme un possible commanditaire du meurtre.

Son arrestation intervient au lendemain d’une promesse d’immunité donnée par le chef du gouvernement à un intermédiaire en échange d’informations sur l’affaire.

Le 23, Yorgen Fenech demande l’immunité judiciaire, se disant prêt à révéler « tout ce qu’il sait ».

– Démissions –

Le 26 novembre, le chef de cabinet de M. Muscat, Keith Schembri, mentionné dans l’enquête comme ayant reçu des pots-de-vin de Yorgen Fenech, démissionne. Il est convoqué par la police.

Konrad Mizzi, devenu ministre du Tourisme et lui aussi mis en cause par Daphne Caruana, démissionne également. Le ministre de l’Economie, Chris Cardona, mis en cause par le « projet Daphne », décide pour sa part de se « mettre en réserve pendant la durée des enquêtes ».

Dans la nuit du 28 au 29, à l’issue d’une réunion d’urgence de son gouvernement de plus de six heures, Joseph Muscat annonce que Yorgen Fenech ne bénéficiera pas de l’immunité demandée.

Selon des sources policières, M. Fenech a désigné comme étant le vrai « commanditaire » du meurtre Keith Schembri. Ce dernier est toutefois remis en liberté.

Ces annonces suscitent l’indignation de l’opposition, de la famille Caruana Galizia et de mouvements civiques qui réclament le départ du Premier ministre.


ICIPE roots for increased consumption of insects

FRANCIS MUREITHIBy FRANCIS MUREITHI
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International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) is vouching for increased consumption of insects. ICIPE says there are business opportunities in the campaign dubbed “insects for feed” in Kenya.

BOILED INSECTS

The safety of the insect is almost guaranteed as insects boiled at 98 degrees Celsius or toasted at 150 degrees Celsius for five minutes were found to be free of aflatoxin, heavy metals, and pesticides residues

In Kenya, ICIPE estimates that dry insects required to replace fishmeal is 90,000 tonnes per year with potential of creating 14,000 jobs. Globally, more than 1,900 edible insect species are consumed by over two billion people.

At least 500 species found in Africa are edible. They include termites, spiders, beetles, mantids, lake flies, plant bugs, wasps, moths, butterflies, dragon flies and grasshoppers.

At the same time, ICIPE says that the declining staple food of maize yield which stands at 2 tonnes per hectare could not feed the African population set to hit 8billion mark by 2100.

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TRADITIONAL FOODS

“The crop production is not keeping pace with the population while declining dietary diversity and erosion of traditional foods is a big concern,” said the ICIPE report.

ICIPE states that developing an effective mass rearing strategy with established standards and value additions can have extensive impacts.

“Insects have many nutritional values including higher protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals in comparisons to beef, pork, chicken and fish,” added the report.

Edible insects are also source of high value oil that could be used in other nutraceutical products.

They are also a rich source of vitamin E, while insect oil could cure coronary heart diseases, support immune function, prevent inflammation, promote eye health and lower the risk of cancer.

The ICIPE report titled: “Insect for Food and Feed Sub-Saharan Africa” says edible insects could bridge the increasing demand for food and meat which stands at between 50 – 85 per cent.

The edible insects could also become a source of income as termites in Kenya are known to generate good income.

“Women and youth are extensively involved in insects for food value chain,” says the report.

The ICIPE report was tabled during the Kenya Science Congress meeting in Mombasa between November 18 and 20.

The meeting was attended by more than 100 journalists and experts from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi. The meeting was organized by Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture. The report indicated that insects have many advantages in comparison to traditional livestock.

“Livestock such as cows edible part is about 40 per cent while grasshoppers is 80 per cent while protein content is 50 per cent and grasshoppers has 60 per cent protein content,” the report says.

Insects emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in comparison to livestock which emit high carbon dioxide.

FEED FORMULATION

The global demand for beef by 2050 is expected to be 106 million tonnes, mutton (25 million tonnes), pork (143 million tonnes), poultry (181 million tonnes) and eggs (102 million tonnes).

To be able to meet the global demand in 2050, feed production must increase by 70 per cent.

The performance of insect based feed formulation in poultry was evident as exotic grower chicken fed on insect based meal gained weight rapidly.

Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organisation improved Kienyeji chicken increased their egg production by 62 per cent while tilapia fed on insect meal increased its weight by 33 per cent.

The quality of African catfish fillet fed on biosafety based feeds improved its protein content while pigs fed on insect based feed get to the market one month earlier when fed with insect based feed compared to conventional fishmeal feeds.


Safaricom inks digital mailboxes deal with Posta

JOHN MUTUABy JOHN MUTUA
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Safaricom subscribers will now get parcels and letters delivered at their homes after the telecommunications firm inked a deal with Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) to start digital mailboxes.

Subscribers will register for the digital mailboxes by dialling *234*1* 9 # and use their mobile numbers as addresses. They will then get alerts on their phones whenever they receive a parcel and pick it up at PCK counters.

Safaricom, which has over 32 million subscribers, will charge Sh300 in annual subscriptions for the digital mailboxes, called M-Posta. Compared to PCK, which charges Sh2,027 for its brick and mortar individual letter boxes annually, subscribers stand to make big savings.

DOORSTEP DELIVERY 

This will offer Kenyans even cheaper parcel delivery fees compared to courier firms that charge up to Sh300 for a one-time parcel delivery to their offices.

Safaricom says the digital mailboxes will save customers potentially fruitless trips to PCK branches to check on the status of their parcels. Doorstep deliveries will, however, come at an extra fee that Safaricom is yet to disclose.

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ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru said that the deal will increase Kenyans’ participation in e-commerce as the country moves closer to a platform that delivers goods at their doorsteps.

E-COMMERCE BOOST 

“At the touch of a button, M-Post provides anyone in the country with a virtual post office box and can easily receive parcels and letters. Through Safaricom, you will now have your address, share it with the world and take part in global e-commerce,” Mr Mucheru said.

PCK chief executive Dan Kagwe said that the deal will boost the country’s goal of bringing over 50 percent of the population under e-commerce in under five years.

“We can move e-commerce locally by more than 50 percent in the next five years through this partnership. Now we will become the pivot for logistics in Kenya and the hub for East Africa,” Mr Kagwe said yesterday.

The deal comes three years after a similar platform launched by PCK, called Posta Mkononi, when the agency tried to woo young people who have no traditional letter boxes.


MPs thwart security guards minimum wage bid

OTIATO GUGUYUBy OTIATO GUGUYU
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MPs have opted to deny 500,000 security guards better pay by throwing out new regulations that would have increased remuneration for the sector in January.

The Committee on Delegated Legislation led by Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Shollei said the regulations were defective and questioned Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi’s power to draft them.

Ms Shollei added that there was not enough public participation despite Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho’s submission that the ministry started working on the framework in March 2016 after the Private Security Act was enacted and consulted within the industry.

“The committee recommends to the house the annulment of the regulations for reasons including, the unjustifiable delay in the publication of the regulations or laying before Parliament,” Ms Shollei said.

If the regulations came into effect, the welfare of security guards was expected to improve immensely as licensed firms would be required to pay guards in their employ at least the minimum wage.

In cities such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, this amounts to Sh27,993 for a night guard and Sh25,641 for a day guard.

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In municipalities like Nakuru, Nyeri and Kakamega, this comes to Sh25,905 and Sh16,119 and Sh13,575 in all other areas, mostly small urban and rural areas.

But such a move has attracted resistance and anger from employers in the industry who claim the pay is unsustainable.

The Kenya Security Industry Association, Protective Security Industry Association and the Protective and safety Association of Kenya teamed up to form the Joint Security Industry Association to oppose the regulations.


A Bamako, la biennale de la photographie africaine fête ses 25 ans

Publié le 30.11.2019 à 20h50 par AFP

Les Rencontres de Bamako, biennale africaine de la photographie qui fête en 2019 ses 25 ans, se sont ouvertes samedi à Bamako en présence du président malien qui a présenté la photographie comme une « lumière » contre des « temps obscurs ».

« La photo, c’est la lumière, et nous devons avec beaucoup de détermination nous ancrer dans ce temps » alors que « certains pourraient nous faire croire que c’est le contraire, que c’est le temps de l’obscur que nous vivons. Non, non et non! », a déclaré le président malien lors de la cérémonie d’ouverture.

Le Mali traverse une profonde crise depuis presque dix ans: d’abord confronté à des rebellions indépendantistes dans le nord, il fait face désormais à des groupes jihadistes qui essaiment dans le nord et le centre du pays. Une large partie du Mali vit au rythme des attaques et de la violence.

Bamako, touchée plusieurs fois par des attentats, reste un havre encore stable et une capitale très portée sur les arts, dont la photo. Depuis 1994 et tous les deux ans y sont organisées les Rencontres de Bamako, la plus importante rencontre photographique du continent africain.

Seule l’édition de 2013 avait été annulée en raison de la crise.

« Dans cette entreprise de reconquête et de reconstruction de l’image de l’Afrique, je ne connais aucun oeuvre plus puissante, plus redoutable que la photographie », a insisté à la tribune la ministre de la Culture N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo.

« Alors que le Sahel est en trouble, nous nous devons de faire cette biennale, pour aller au-delà de certains clichés, (il faut amener) la créativité, la joie, du bonheur dans la profondeur », a dit à l’AFP Igo Diarra, directeur des Rencontres.

La biennale est pour la première fois organisée seulement par des Africains, les éditions précédentes ayant été co-organisées avec l’Institut français du Mali, désormais partenaire.

Outre l’exposition d’oeuvres, la manifestation entend donner une « visibilité » à des jeunes artistes africains, selon la ministre de la Culture.

« J’espère que cela va m’ouvrir des portes », indique Amadou Diadié Samassekou, photographe malien de 35 ans qui expose pour la première fois dans la sélection IN des Rencontres.

Environ 85 artistes africains et de la diaspora vont exposer cette année dans divers lieux de la capitale malienne. La biennale s’achèvera le 31 janvier.


Côte d’Ivoire/présidentielle: Ouattara sera candidat si Bedié ou Gbagbo le sont

Publié le 30.11.2019 à 20h50 par AFP

Le président ivoirien Alassane Ouattara, qui entretient depuis plusieurs mois le mystère sur une éventuelle candidature à un troisième mandat lors de la présidentielle d’octobre 2020, a annoncé samedi qu’il serait candidat si ses rivaux historiques, les ex-présidents Laurent Gbagbo et Henri Konan Bédié, se présentent au scrutin.

« Mon intention, c’est bien de transférer le pouvoir à une nouvelle génération, mais attention, je ne le ferai que si tous ceux de ma génération comprennent que notre temps est passé (…). Si eux, ils décident d’être candidat, alors je serai candidat » a déclaré Alassane Ouattara à Katiola, lors d’un meeting dans la cadre d’une tournée de cinq jours dans le nord de la Côte d’Ivoire.

« C’est trop facile d’avoir fait ce que certains ont fait et de penser qu’ils peuvent revenir pour faire la même chose. La Côte d’Ivoire appartient aux prochaines générations. Mais comme je vois des hésitations au niveau de certains de ma génération, c’est pour ça que je n’ai pas encore avancé ma décision, » a précisé le président.

« Je ne veux pas que la Côte d’Ivoire retourne entre les mains de ceux qui ont détruit notre pays, que ceux qui ont gaspillé les biens publics ».

Le président est revenu sur la question de sa candidature ensuite lors d’une conférence de presse. « Si les gens de ma génération considèrent aller de l’avant, la Constitution m’autorise à faire deux autres mandats. Je pourrai faire deux autres mandats sans aucune difficulté. Je suis en parfaite santé. »

« Je suis vraiment pour le transfert du pouvoir à la nouvelle génération. Je fais une suggestion. Mais ceux qui ne veulent pas entendre cela, ils ont le droit de se présenter. C’est leur droit ».

Par ailleurs, le président a balayé les demandes de l’opposition qui demande une réforme de la Commission électorale indépendante (CEI). « J’ai dit : +Pas de retour en arrière+ ».

Agé de 77 ans, M. Ouattara a affirmé à plusieurs reprises qu’il annoncerait sa décision sur sa candidature en 2020. S’il aura en 2020 déjà accompli deux mandats, il estime avoir le droit de se représenter en raison d’un changement de Constitution en 2016, ce que conteste l’opposition.

Agé de 85 ans, l’ancien président Henri Konan Bédié (1993-1999) entretient lui aussi le doute sur sa candidature.

De son côté, l’ex-président Laurent Gbagbo, 74 ans, attend en liberté conditionnelle en Belgique l’examen de l’appel du Parquet après son acquittement en première instance de crimes contre l’humanité par la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), mais son avocat, Emmanuel Altit, a demandé une libération sans conditions émettant « l’hypothèse » qu’il puisse « poser sa propre candidature ».


Allemagne: le coup de barre à gauche du SPD fragilise la coalition Merkel

Publié le 30.11.2019 à 20h50 par AFP

Coup de barre à gauche chez les sociaux-démocrates allemands: les militants ont élu samedi un tandem de dirigeants critiques à l’égard de la coalition d’Angela Merkel, au détriment de l’actuel ministre des Finances, partisan du statu quo.

Encore inconnus du grand public il y a quelques semaines, Saskia Esken et Norbert Walter-Borjans ont obtenu 53,06% des voix, contre 45,33% pour le ministre et vice-chancelier Olaf Scholz et Klara Geywitz, une élue locale de l’ex-RDA.

Quelque 54% des 426.630 militants du parti, créé sous ce nom en 1890, ont participé à ce second tour. Les deux nouveaux présidents, pour la première fois un tandem paritaire, seront officiellement investis lors d’un congrès organisé du 6 au 8 décembre à Berlin.

Les vainqueurs ont promis de leur « tendre la main » pour maintenir la « cohésion » du parti, distancé dans les sondages par la droite et les écologistes, et au coude à coude avec l’extrême droite.

– Scholz veut rester ministre –

Ce second tour constitue un coup de tonnerre pour la chancelière Merkel, au pouvoir depuis 14 ans et qui compte gouverner jusqu’à la fin de la législature en 2021, avant de se retirer de la politique.

Mme Esken et M. Walter-Borjans, tenants d’une ligne plus à gauche, veulent en effet renégocier l’accord de coalition conclu entre le SPD et les conservateurs de la CDU-CSU en 2018. Ce qu’exclut la direction de la CDU.

« Nous avons créé une base (avec le SPD). La décision d’aujourd’hui n’a rien changé à cette fondation », a ainsi réagi le secrétaire général de la CDU, Paul Ziemiak.

Les militants devront se prononcer dans une semaine, lors du congrès à Berlin, sur le bilan du gouvernement à mi-mandat et voter sur un maintien ou une sortie de l’alliance au pouvoir.

Dépourvu de charisme, surnommé « Scholz l’automate » pour sa propension à aligner des éléments de langage, M. Scholz, partisan d’un maintien dans la coalition, apparaissait comme le choix de la continuité.

Ancien maire de Hambourg, son poste actuel de ministre des Finances pourrait être fragilisé par cette défaite, bien qu’il souhaite rester en place, selon le groupe de médias Funke.

Il était le seul poids lourd social-démocrate en lice dans cette élection, provoquée par la démission fracassante au printemps de la précédente présidente, Andrea Nahles, après un scrutin européen catastrophique.

Malgré des mesures récentes pour augmenter le minimum de retraite, les deux nouveaux dirigeants, des élus locaux tenants de la lutte contre l’extrême droite et l’évasion fiscale, critiquent la politique du « zéro endettement », un totem en Allemagne. Ils déplorent aussi la timidité de l’actuel gouvernement en matière environnementale.

– Soutien des pro-climat –

Le duo était d’ailleurs soutenu par les très remuants Jeunes socialistes ainsi que par la branche allemande de Fridays for future, le mouvement pro-climat initié par la Suédoise Greta Thunberg, très suivi en Allemagne.

Les deux nouveaux dirigeant demandent notamment des investissements supplémentaires à hauteur d’un milliard d’euros en faveur du climat et des infrastructures. Ils souhaitent aussi que le salaire minimum soit porté à 12 euros, contre environ 8,8 euros actuellement.

Si la droite continue d’opposer une fin de non-recevoir, le SPD pourrait décider de sortir de la coalition. Mme Merkel pourrait alors tenter de former un gouvernement minoritaire.

De nouvelles élections avant le terme de la législature seraient également envisageables, un mauvais timing avant la présidence de l’Union européenne que doit assurer l’Allemagne en 2020.

« L’Allemagne va être confrontée à de nouvelles élections ou à un gouvernement minoritaire », a ainsi prédit le parti libéral FDP, convaincu que touche à sa fin la grande coalition entre conservateurs et sociaux-démocrates, formée dans la douleur il y a un an et demi.

« Ce n’est plus une +Groko+ (grande coalition), c’est une +Kleinko+ (une petite coalition) et bientôt ce sera une +Noko+ », a asséné Jörg Meuthen, co-dirigeant du parti d’extrême droite Alternative pour l’Allemagne (AfD).

Quelque 57% des sympathisants du SPD seraient favorables à un maintien dans l’équipe Merkel, selon un récent sondage Ipsos. Mais le résultat de cette élection, qu’aucun sondage n’avait prédit, pourrait rebattre les cartes.


UNFCC summit vital for resilience, adaptation’s funding negotiation-Malawi Natural Resources Minister Kutsaira

Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira

MADRID-(MaraviPost)-Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira says Malawi will take advantage of United Nation Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) summit to negotiate for funding towards building resilience and adaptation communities in Malawi.

This comes as the country is still facing serious challenges due, adverse impact of climate change.

Briefing the media in Spain, prior to the UNFCC summit scheduled to commence on 2nd December 2019 Kutsaira said the summit provides an opportunity for Malawi to lobby for climate change action and financing on climate challenges on an international platform.

Malawi has not been spared from the adverse effects of climate change.

In march, this year 60 people lost their lives while thousands were left homeless due to floods which scientists and environmentalists attributed to climate change.

The post UNFCC summit vital for resilience, adaptation’s funding negotiation-Malawi Natural Resources Minister Kutsaira appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Bomet, Nakuru, Kajiado and Laikipia on the spot for misuse of funds

AMINA WAKOBy AMINA WAKO
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Former Auditor General Edward Ouko, in his 2017/2018 audit report for Bomet County revealed the county paid Sh32.3 million to clear debts owed by four co-operative societies to Agricultural Finance Corporation and FMD East Africa. However, it was unclear why the county government paid debts.
The devolved unit explained it had taken ownership of eight tractors belonging to the cooperatives societies but no logbooks were provided for the audit verification.

NEW EMPLOYEES

The audit also revealed that a total of 213 new employees with a monthly gross salary of Sh11.1 million were employed in the year under review but the vacancies were not advertised. Neither was their recruitment done by the County Public Service Board, contrary to the requirements of county Government, Act 2012.
Section 65 (e) of the County Government Act, 2012 states that one-third of county staff at entry-level should be recruited from communities other than the one dominant in the county. However, the county hired 95 per cent of staff from the dominant ethnic community.
The county incurred an expenditure of Sh233.4 million under various sub-items but was not supported by payment vouchers and other documentary evidence such as contracts and completion certificates.

Bomet had outstanding pending bills amounting to Sh267.7 million which has not been supported by authentic documents.

“As a result, the validity and accuracy of the pending bills cannot be fully confirmed,” the Auditor General noted in his report for the financial year 2017/2018.

A supplier was paid Sh 2.4 million for the supply of three batch pasteurizers but physical verification revealed the supplier only delivered one batch pasteurizer and two milk dispensers instead of the three batch pasteurizer for which the orders had been placed. No explanation was given during the audit.

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SH 33 MILLION

The county paid Kenya Red Cross society Sh33 million for the implementation of the project that was meant to improve the quality of life of the residents. However, a list of the programmes to be undertaken and their status was not provided for audit.

Sh 102.2 million was paid to National Lands Commission during the year under review for the procurement of land for water treatment plant but no land title deed was presented for audit despite the full payment.

The county had pending bills amounting to Sh1.1 billion but documents like local purchase orders/ Local service orders, invoices, delivery notes and approved claim documents were not presented for audit.

In 2017/2018 the county purchased vehicles and other transport equipment which were paid for in full an amount of Sh48.5 million however no logbooks were produced for audit.

The audit revealed rent arrears amounting to Sh13 million from county house, kiosks and stalls, in some cases, some tenants had not paid for close to 80 months arrears.

The county paid Sh21.9 million for the construction of data centre at the county headquarters. The project was to be completed by February 2017 however site visit revealed that the project was 55 per cent complete.

“The project completion delayed by over 20 months despite being stated as a critical county support automation system.

Construction of Chebululu conservancy at Kaplelartet, a market shed at Kamasian and charcoal briquette house have stalled since the financial year 2013 despite a total of Sh9.3 million having been paid.

The verification showed work was abandoned and the contractor was not on site.

STALLED PROJECTS
Further, the department of Agriculture had four stalled projects amounting to Sh18 million. The projects were awarded to new contractors but no documentary evidence was produced to confirm the same.

The department of Trade and Industrialisation spent Sh660,675 on the construction of Kapsuser market in the financial year 2015/2016 but physical verification carried out during the year under review revealed that the market shed was complete but not in use. Further, the department paid Sh1.8 million for the drilling and equipping of the borehole that did not yield water.

The Roads and Transport department awarded contracts amounting to Sh13.9 million to various contractors and the audit revealed the contractors were not registered with the National Construction Authority.

“It was, therefore, not possible to confirm if the contractors had the necessary experience, machinery and working capital to undertake the road works,” the auditor noted.

The county does not have an approved staff establishment contrary to the requirements of Section B5 (2) of the county Public Service Human Resource Manual.

Further, the audit report noted 86 per cent of the employees were from the dominant community in the county contrary to section 65 (e) of the county government Act 2012 which requires that at least 30 per cent of county staff at entry-level should be recruited from other communities other than the one dominant one in the county.
The report revealed the county government of Kajiado owned a cattle ranch but the value of the ranch and the livestock were not disclosed in the financial statements present for the audit for the financial year 2017/2018.

CASUAL WORKERS

The county has a pending bill of Sh766.8 million but the county has not maintained updated creditor’s register/ledger with full details of the creditor’s regarding work done or services rendered.

The County Executive made payments amounting to Sh23.5 million to casual workers but according to the audit report, it was not clear how these workers were recruited since there was no evidence of recruitment documents, muster roll, and register, approved terms of service and returns from the supervisors.
The county spent Sh36.9 million for the construction of a dining hall at Olekejuado High School. Mr Ouko noted the construction of schools is not the function that is devolved under scheduled 4 of the constitution of Kenya 2010.

There were no tender documents and minutes of evaluation made available during the audit to show the contractor was identified and whether procurement procedures were followed.

An amount of Sh34.3 million was paid to a firm for the construction of a Modern Sports Complex in Ngong town. The construction was meant to be undertaken in four phases from 2014 and the completion date was meant to be July 2019.

The audit revealed the complex was only 17 per cent complete and for the year under review, no work was carried out implying that, either the project had been abandoned or works had stalled with physical verification confirming the same.

Further, an amount of Sh3 million was made to the architects for consultancy services in respect of the sports complex even though no works had been carried out during the year under review.

The audit revealed that a total of 28 flagship projects with a budget of Sh239.2 million were started without going through the full cycle of the budget process including public participation and validation.

BUDGET PROPOSALS

“This is contrary to provisions of regulation 221(5) of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015 which provides that, the county treasuries shall arrange for effective public partition during the development of their annual budget estimates including the publication of Citizens’ budgets which shall explain and summarize the budget proposals.

Kajiado County executive lacked a Risk Management Policy contrary to the requirements of Regulation 158(1) of the Public Finance Management (County Government Regulations) 2015 which states that the county Government entity should develop risk management strategies.

The county employed 195 staff in various departments. This included recruitment of a Director-Supply Chain, Deputy Director of Budget and an Accountant General. The audit revealed that the personnel files for the above individuals availed for audit did not contain necessary documents to show whether the employees’ had the requisite skills, qualifications, and competence as advertised.

Mr Ouko noticed that the county executive did not have an approved human resource establishment and job evaluation mechanism to guide in the management and utilization of the human resource and to establish the required and optimal number of staff and skills in each department.

An amount of Sh12.1 million was paid to casuals in the county Department of Health however the expenditure was not supported by approval letters from the County Public Service Board as required by clause B.16 of the county Public Service Human Resource Manual.

Various officers from the county were given Sh12.9 million for domestic travel and subsistence but no supporting documents have been provided to confirm that the funds were spent for the intended purposes. The county used Sh4.1 million in respect of refurbishment of buildings but supporting documents for the expenditure were not provided for audit.

IMPREST
The county had outstanding imprest of Sh12.9 million as of June 30, 2018, but the audit revealed that the imprest register did not reflect vital details such as the personal numbers of the staff who held imprest and the reference numbers of payment voucher for cases that had been surrendered. Pending bills amounting to Sh758.2 million were not supported by local procurement orders, invoices, fee notes, and delivery notes. The county deducted Sh7 million from their staff who occupy the county houses. 

However, the amount was not remitted to the County Revenue Fund Account as required by section 109(2) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 which provides that all money raised or received by or on behalf of the County Government is paid into that account.

There were instances where the financial statements and the IFMIS records were different and remained reconciled or unexplained thus the completeness and accuracy of the financial statements ended 30 June 2018 could not be ascertained.

The Auditor-General reported unaccounted receipt books. 109 receipt books issued to officers for collection of revenue from markets and car parks had not been surrendered at the time of the audit.

The county remitted Sh605.2 million to primary schools, early childhood learning centers and secondary school for the constructions of classroom, laboratories, dominatrices and other school infrastructures.

Physical verification is done on 8 November 2018 revealed that the structures were not complete and there was no work going on.

The County Executive of Narok on 29 July 2016, invited applications for membership to the county audit committee. However, at the time of audit in October 2018, no committee had been established as required by clause 167 (1) of the Public Finance Management. Mr Ouko found out the county government of Nakuru had a pending bill of Sh1.9 million.
“Failure to settle current year’s bills affect the budget of the succeeding year and its operations,” Ouko noted.

The Department of Education had budgeted to spend Sh4.7 million on Foreign travel. The ledgers presented for audit indicated that Sh2.3 million was spent on foreign travel. Scrutiny of payment records showed that the fund was not used for foreign travel, instead, they were used for various votes across the department. No authorisation for the reallocation was provided for audit verification.

FEES ARREARS

The market stalls fees arrears from four sampled sub counties with the biggest and busiest market activities revealed arrears of revenue amounting to Sh11.8 million as of 30 June 2018. However, no explanation was given for the non-collection of the arrears from traders.

Records provided for the year under review showed that liquor license arrears amounted to Sh 66.9 million; however, the county executive was not collecting the arrears and has not been issuing demand notices to traders to clear the outstanding balances.

The county management was in breach of law after the audit report revealed that expenditure in respect to salaries of permanent and temporary employees was 44 per cent of the total revenue exceeding the 35 per cent required by law as per section 25(1) (b) of the Public Finance Management (County Government) Regulations, 2015.

The Department of Finance and Economic planning over spent Sh93.5 million as legal fees and examination of vouchers revealed that the payments were not adequately supported with relevant documentation as no information was provided to show initial fee not, amounts paid to date, outstanding balance, the cases being handled and status of those cases to authenticate the payments.

A motor vehicle was purchased under the Department of Finance at a cost of Sh13.8 million but the audit revealed the purchase was not factored in the procurement plan for the year under review. Further, no records were produced to confirm how the procurement was initiated and if the law was followed.

The Ministry of Finance made payments of Sh 44.5 million being loan repayments during the year however, loan statements to support the balance were not provided for verification.

Sh 3.8 million was paid for the construction of market stalls and ADC fence in Molo Central sub county however there was no inspection and acceptance report for the work done.

“It was not possible to establish whether value for money was realised and if the payments made were accurate,” the audit report read.

ALLOWANCES
The county paid night out allowances of Sh4.5 million to 78 members of the county assembly but there was no evidence provided to show that the members travelled to Machakos for the KICOSCA games.

The county disbursed Sh26 million for polytechnics and vocational training centres but there was no acknowledgment was done by the institutions.
The county government paid legal fees to an advocate of Sh4 million through two payment vouchers Sh2.3 million and Sh1.7 million.

The audit, however, revealed that the photocopies of the certificates of costs were attached to support the payments. The attached copies of the certificates of the cost were both issued by the Deputy Registrar of the High Court of Nakuru on the same date, both bear similar signatures but different names of the Deputy Registrars.

A sum of Sh 237.7 Million was paid for the preparation of the Nakuru Spatial development plan. The scope of the consultancy services was digital topographical mapping and preparation of 2014 to 2014 spatial development plan. The audit revealed that “no substantial work has been carried out and the submitted draft report has not been tabled, discussed and adopted by the County Assembly”.

Mr. Ouko noted the intended benefits from the project may not be achieved within the set timelines.

In 2016 a contractor was paid Sh24.6 million for Land Information Management System for Nakuru and Naivasha Municipality areas but during the audit, for the years under review, it was noted that no land Information Management System as a deliverable has been realised.

Sh 2.5 million was spent for the supply of X-Ray machine to Elburgon hospital but the audit revealed that it was supplied without a processing unit. The machine has not functioned since it was delivered.

“The machine was also received without any documentation such as user guidelines, warranty period and payment was made before delivery,” the audit report noted.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources awarded a contract for the completion of borehole and construction of tank at Oljorai borehole in Eburruk Mbaruk ward at Sh2.9 million during the year 2016/2017.

BOREHOLE
Site visit in October 2018 revealed the borehole had been drilled but the water tank was incomplete and the contractor had abandoned the site leaving incomplete work.

An over the expenditure of Sh29.4 million was incurred against the approved budget in the department of roads, infrastructure and public works as electricity expenses.

However, no evidence was provided during the audit to show that the excess expenditure was approved as required by Section 39(3) of Public Finance Management (County Government) Regulations, 2015.

The county paid Sh3.8 million for routine maintenance and spot patching of Kenyatta Avenue in the Biashara Ward. The audit revealed that the project was not budgeted for under the development budget for the Ministry of roads.

The county awarded various contractors to supply and install street lights in wards in Nakuru county worth Sh53 million but physical verification carried out in November 2018 revealed that the lights were not labelled. This, according to the Auditor General, made it impossible to ascertain the actual number of street lights installed and paid for.

“There are no records to differentiate the street lights installed in the prior years and the current year,” the OAG noted.

Nakuru County failed to submit to the Auditor-General financial statements relating to the car loan and bursary fund, contrary to the provisions of section 116(7) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012. The county did not give Mr Ouko any reason for failure to submit the financial statements.

The audit report revealed the county executive installed and implemented the ZIZI revenue collection system and LAIFOMS information systems that had not been integrated with the integrated Financial Management system (IFMIS).

TRANSPORT ALLOWANCE
The report revealed that the county of Laikipia misallocated expenditure amounting to Sh22.1 million to unrelated items.

For instance, casual wages money was misallocated to domestic travel and subsistence and an amount of Sh4,9 million meant for domestic travel and subsistence was misallocated to foreign travel and subsistence.

Sh 11 million was paid to various Laikipia county staff and three firms for revenue operation within the county, flight charges and subsistence during the National Music Festival held in Kakamega but the payment vouchers were not supported by the required documents like air tickets.

The members of the county assembly were paid Sh3.1 million for attending various consultative meetings during the year under review but the payment was not supported by relevant documents such as signed attendance schedules or even minutes from the meetings. Members of the staff were paid Sh6.3 million for attending KICOSCA games in Machakos county and each member was paid transport allowance but no bus fare tickets were provided for audit. The payment was not supported by a signed attendance list at the events.

“The propriety and validity of the expenditure in respect of KICOSCA games could not be confirmed, “the OAG noted.

Included in the expenditure, is an amount of Sh23.9 million paid to Kenya Medical Supplies Agency for supply and delivery of drugs to dispensaries and health centers in the county.

However, requisitions, triplicate copies of local Purchase Orders, goods received notes from health facilities and inspection and acceptance reports of the supplies were not presented for audit review.

The county incurred an expense of Sh30.5 million for fuel, oil, and lubricants. The Auditor General noted they were issued with fuel cards from Vivo Energy and Total Kenya Ltd service.

However, fuel worth Sh11.1 million was drawn and paid for cash despite the fact the fuel cards had been issued for use.

Further Sh407,210, Sh 320,000 and Sh87,210 were refunded to staff for fuel but the county could not explain why the fuel cards were not used.

PENDING BILLS
In the audit report, the county reported pending bills amounting to Sh675.1 million however tender documents, contract agreement, local purchase/service orders, invoices, certificates of work and schedules detailing names of the contractors/ suppliers or work was done were not provided for audit.

The executive transferred Sh172.1 million to various health facilities though facility improvement fund but the county failed to prepare and submits for audit financial statements in respect of the fund.

“This is contrary to section 167 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012. The law requires an administrator of the fund to prepare and Submit for audit financial statements in respect of the fund within three (3) months after the end of the financial year that is, on or before 30 September of every year,” the Auditor General noted.

The executive indicated during the audit that arrears of revenue about property rates and rent were amounting to Sh4.1 billion as of 30 June 2018. The Auditor-General noted the county had not indicated any effort by the management to recover the amount.

Included in the financial statement is an expenditure of Sh3.4 million for the purchase of various furniture and equipment. However, a review of records revealed inconsistencies between the dates when the tender was initiated and awarded.

For instance, a quotation was raised on 22/2/2018 and returned and awarded on 26/2/2018 while the evaluation committee was appointed on 6/3/2018 after the award breaching the procurement laws, regulations and procedures.

The county paid Sh23.8 million in June 2018 for the implementation of the Solio Water Project but the project had not commenced as of November 2018. The audit report noted there was no satisfactory explanation was provided for the delay in commencing the project.

The county paid Sh26.8 million for casual in all health facilities within the county on renewable contracts.

The contracts were being renewed on a continuous basis contrary to the provisions section 37 of Employment Act, 2012, which requires that a casual employee whose contract has been converted and who works continuously for two months or more from the date of employment as a casual shall be entitled to the same terms and conditions of service as the other non- casual employees.

FEE COLLECTION

The county spent Sh40.8 million for the supply and commissioning of Revenue Automation System but it was noted during the audit the systems have not been utilised or were not functional after the roll-out except parking fee collection.

An amount of Sh9.1 million was incurred on drugs and non-pharmaceuticals from non- prequalified suppliers contrary to Section 95(3) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 Act that requires that a Public Procuring entity shall invite tenders from only the approved persons who have been pre-qualified.

Further, an amount of Sh1.2 million was irregularly charged to specialised materials and services accounts.

The county spent Sh12.4 million on airtime allowances which were cash payment to employees but the allowances were not taxed hence PAYE was not paid to Kenya Revenue Authority as required by law.

In compensation of employees, the county spent 48 per cent of its total receipts contrary to the law which requires the expenditure not to exceed the set limit of 35 per cent.

For the year under review, 67 employees recruited by the county public service Board to fill various positions, 88 per cent were recruited from one dominant community in the county.

This was contrary to the provisions of section 65(e) of the county government Act, 2012 which requires that at least 30 per cent of the employees be from other communities.

According to the audit report, the executive did not have a risk management policy to guide the management in risk assessment and formation of risk mitigation strategies.