The management of the Kenya Railways is facing possible summons after the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee on Commercial Affairs and Energy reprimanded the corporation’s decision to snub the committee sittings over the Sh1billion Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) compensation audit query.
The committee chaired by Pokot South MP David Pkosing made the directive saying the excuse the bosses gave was flimsy and deliberate failure to honour the invitation.
“We should be moving toward summonses. We will give them the earliest possible time and reprimand them…They said they will write an official letter. The Managing Director was said to be in a meeting. No official letter has come yet. We can’t know why they’re not coming. Kenya Railway has absconded. Write a serious letter demanding their appearance here next week.” Pkosing said.
The committee had summoned the Philip Mainga led parastatal over the alleged payment of Sh1billion to unknown individuals affected by the construction of the SGR.
The committee noted that the details of the payment to the individuals were not submitted for audit hence creating suspicion regarding the credibility and legitimacy of the compensation.
Among the crucial details needed include the list of beneficiaries, Personal Identification Number (PIN) certificates, and title deeds from the National Lands Commission.
The query was raised by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in her audit report which analysed financial statements from 2017/2018 to 2020/2021.
She faulted the management for not providing any supporting documents regarding the unsupported Sh1billion SGR land compensation.
“Land compensations under SGR Phase 1 amounted to Ksh12 billion. However, the supporting documents for compensations amounting to Ksh1 billion to Project Affected Persons (PAPS) were not provided for audit reviews.” The audit report reads in part.
Among the outstanding audit issues at the Philip Mainga-led corporation are the Sh24 billion operating loss posted in 2020.
PIC also seeks to review the illegal allocation of land citing nine industrial plots within Limuru Railway Station, three in Kikuyu and parcels adjacent to the Mombasa Railway station.
The parcels, including 529 others across the country, in question, have been allocated to third parties with some already developed.
A Sh3 billion variance in freight revenue from the Standard Gauge Railway is also lined up for the probe after the auditor cast doubt on the Sh14 billion Kenya Railways reported as its income for the year.