The Jubilee government’s rush to have the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in place before the last General Election left the project Sh4 Billion poorer, an audit report has shown.
At the inception of the project, audit experts warned that the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) did not have the manpower to handle the magnitude of resources allocated to SGR.
The report has placed top officials of the KRC and their counterparts at the National Lands Commission at the center of the loss of an estimated Sh4 Billion through unscrupulous deals.
The officials reportedly took advantage of the rush to make unprocedural payments that saw public funds massively looted.
Auditors also reported: “We noted that permanent structures, earlier earmarked for demolition for being illegally built on Kenya Railway Reserves were compensated during the acquisition process and no evidence was provided to account for how the earlier decision was rescinded.”
The report exposed by The Standard points fingers to NLC for deploying surveyors directly to the ground immediately after being employed. Casuals and temporary clerks were also used in the initiation of direct payments in the multi-billion compensation scheme.
Kenya Railways risk and audit manager Remmy Koech signed the audit report which he noted that lack of internal controls at NLC opened doors for massive losses.
The report points to NLC having spent public resources without properly detailing and documenting the expenses.
Part is of the loot is Sh1,752,119,307 that is noted as untraceable payments in the project. Another Sh3.5 Million disappeared through manipulation of payment records.
There were several incidences where land that lies outside the SGR corridor was paid for in the name of compensation for displacement with a number of double payments to owners.