KICC ‘facing auction’ over Sh400m debt
The management of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) risks losing millions of shillings in court awards after it emerged that it is yet to pay suppliers about Sh390 million in pending bills with less than three days to the end of the current financial year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta directed on June 1 that all pending bills owed by national government agencies and county governments that have no audit queries should be paid by end of this month.
Auditor-General Edward Ouko has already warned that KICC risks having its assets auctioned if the bills are not settled.
In a special audit report before the National Assembly, Mr Ouko notes that the claimants have valid contracts, LPOs, LSOs and award letters, and goods and services were delivered, with confirmation of works done.
“We recommend payment of various contractors, suppliers and service providers. The corporation risks its assets being attached in the event that the claims are not settled as most claimants have contracts,” Mr Ouko says.
Suppliers to the tenth World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference, held in Nairobi from December 15-19, 2015, are yet to be paid Sh175.5 million while other contractors and suppliers are owed Sh211.4 million for laying of new cabro pavements and refurbishment works, among others.
The pending bills initially stood at Sh1.1 billion before the special audit scaled it down to Sh387 million, which Mr Ouko recommended that it be paid to avoid subjecting KICC to court awards over delayed payments.
While leading the country in commemorating the 56th Madaraka Day in Narok, President Kenyatta issued a directive that all pending bills be cleared before the end of the current financial year.
The directive was followed by a Treasury memo to all ministries, departments and other agencies and county governments ordering them to clear the audited pending bills so that the money could be wired to the accounts of the suppliers and contractors.
But the KICC may have disregarded this order.
“We are heading to court to ensure that we get our [money] paid for the works we did plus interest accrued. The fact that the corporation has lost money before through such penalties could be the ‘motivation’ to disregard the President’s order,” said a supplier, who did not want to be named.
Other works included refurbishing the offices of the President’s Delivery Unit, the government spokesperson and the Kenya International Boundaries, all under the Office of the President, among many others.