CEEC workers protest funds misuse

‘‘WE request that a forensic audit on the audio visual equipment valued at over K900,000 and the missing dairy animals is conducted at the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC)’’, say concerned CEEC members of staff.

This is contained in a letter written to Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Kayula Siame by concerned CEEC members of staff on what they have termed dubious and corrupt operations at the commission.

The letter states that the staff on two occasions wrote to the permanent secretary even before the Auditor General’s report for 2014 was published about their concerns on the procedure and corrupt nature of the Mbonge Great Minds project and the case of missing dairy animals.

“On two occasions we wrote to your office, we highlighted the lack of procedure and corrupt nature of the Mbonge Great Minds project and the case of missing dairy animals and incompetent legal framework.

‘‘In light of the above we members of staff strongly request that a forensic audit be instituted to shed more light on these items,” reads the letter.

The workers stated that this had allegedly led to the resignation of two qualified procurement officers due to pressure from a senior CEEC official to personally award the contract contrary to the procurement provisions.

Furthermore, the consultants tasked to produce the Mbonge reality show were on the commission’s payroll and were being accommodated at their offices contrary to the agreement.

“We want to know why a consultant is not paid consultancy fees but a salary, DSA and are accommodated at the commission offices and what criteria was used for awarding this contract,” the letter states.

The workers claimed that the dairy animals that were meant to benefit farmers have disappeared and that no one at the commission seemed to know where or what happened to the animals.

‘’We beg to ask what is it that is secretive about these animals to make the documents also go missing,’’ reads the letter.

The CEEC workers claimed that their whistle blowing efforts were an act of patriotism as they did not want the institution to be subjected to further negative press coverage through the Auditor General’s report.

The Auditor General’s report for the year 2014, on the accounts of parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions, has queried CEEC for its purchase of audio and visual equipment when this was not part of its main business.

The commission spent K953,815 for the procurement of audio visual equipment, K411,109 office furniture, K48,156, rentals K46,000, allowances K66,750, consultancy fees to five members K336,000, a mentor K15,000, and telephone as well as K30,800 for internet services.

On 3rd March, 2014, the commission signed a memorandum of understanding with Great Minds Media Solutions Company Limited for the production of the ‘Mbonge’ reality show. However, as of November last year the reality show had not been produced.

And about 860 dairy animals worth K3,142,900 procured by CEEC on behalf of 19 farmers and four cooperatives have since not been delivered to the beneficiaries.

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