Devolution department losses Sh250 million in Africities project

Physical verification carried out in November 2022 revealed that the project was only 55 percent complete despite full allocation of funds.

The unfinished Africities centre in Kisumu.

The government, through the state department of Devolution, may have lost about Sh250 million meant for the construction of a conference centre in Kisumu.

A report by the office of the Auditor-General shows that the department could not account for the funds, following the stalling of construction works last year.

According to the report for the financial year ended June 30, 2022, the department had set aside about Sh250 million for the construction of the AFRICITIES Convention Centre in Kisumu.

However, despite the allocation, works for the construction of the facility reportedly stopped, with no explanation given on how much had been spent and how the allocated funds were used.

Auditor-general Nancy Gathungu says that an inspection of the facility showed that only 55 percent of the works had been completed, with the remaining works all behind schedule as had been planned. 

“The statement of receipts and payments of the department reflects acquisition of assets expenditure of Sh344 million. The expenditure includes Sh250 million which was paid to a contractor being part-payment for construction of proposed AFRICITIES convention centre in Kisumu county,” Ms Gathungu says in the report. 

According to Ms Gathungu, the contract was awarded at a contract sum of Sh 890 Million for a duration of 38 weeks commencing on July 16, 2021. An extension period was granted where the contract was revised to 73 weeks with the new completion date of December 16, 2022. 

“However, physical verification carried out in the month of November 2022 revealed that the project was only 55 percent complete. Although management attributed the delay to lack of funds, the project was behind schedule,” Ms Gathungu says. 

The report notes that in the circumstances, the regularity and value for money realised from the expenditure of Sh 250 Million incurred on the delayed project for the year ended June 30, 2022 could not be confirmed.