The Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has put the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on the spot over irregularities in the payment of ShSh9.2 billion for the 2019 population and housing census.
According to the Auditor-General, half of the Sh18.5 billion spent on the Kenya Population and Housing Census (KHPC) last year could not be accounted for.
Among the key areas of contention is irregular payments for expenses in the 2019 census that included the pay for security personnel, purchase of airtime, data bundles, SIM cards, short message service (SMS) and M-Pesa payments to village elders.
Irregular Security Payments
According to Gathungu, KNBS transferred Sh500 million in form of imprests to the Kenya Police Service to meet the allowances of security officers during the exercise. However, the basis for the transfer of Sh500 million was not supported by an agreement between the Kenya Police and the Bureau to inform the amount required for security.
“The imprest amount of Sh499,817,500 was surrendered on June 4, 2020,” she said, adding that the surrender documents did not contain the number of security officers that were deployed, their respective stations, days worked and the amount received by each officer and that the total amount included Sh10,072,000 as payment to non-security officers.
“The roles, names, details of the non-security officers and the reasons for their involvement in the census exercise was not explained or documented,” Ms Gathungu said.
The 2019 Kenya census was conducted on August 24-25, 2019. The enumerated population for the country was recorded at 47,564,296.
Graft at the Kenya Bureau of Statistics during the national census has been a common trend. In 2012, the agency was also on the spot over the misappropriation of funds that saw then Director-General Anthony Kilele arrested by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officers. He was accused of failing to comply with the procurement law in tendering for storage space for census material.