The management of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre was this week hard-pressed to explain some of the measures it had instituted to recover Sh36 billion said to have been accrued in rent by the office of former President Mwai Kibaki.
KICC acting chief executive officer Patricia Ondeng, while appearing before the National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee, was put to task to explain how it intends to collect the debt owed by an office belonging to officials attached to the late Kibaki.
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The committee chaired by Pokot South MP David Pkosing had summoned the management of KICC to respond to audit questions raised by the office of the Auditor-General for the 2019/20 to 2020/21 financial years.
Among the queries probed by the committee was a failure by KICC to honour tenancy agreements, leading to accrued debts of up to Sh36 billion, arising from the occupation of the 18th floor by the Private Secretary to the third President. The tenancy agreement was for the period between July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2016.
According to the Auditor-General’s report, the recoverability of the debt was doubtful, and it was impossible to confirm that the trade and other receivables balance of Sh829,479,034 as of 30 June 2020 was fairly stated.
Pkosing sought to know the efforts the KICC management had instituted to recover the funds and if the lease agreement for the said floor had been regularised.
“If indeed this revenue has been lost, what efforts has the Corporation put in place for recovery?” asked Pkosing.
Ondeng, in her response, indicated that the matter had been brought to the attention of the immediate former Committee, which had observed that correspondences from the government had never acknowledged that it gave the retired President the Office Space on the 18th floor at the KICC.
“Arising from the PIC recommendation, the Corporation is awaiting the Board’s approval for write-off as recommended,” said Ondeng.
The Committee also questioned the KICC management on its failure to provide documentation on ownership of the KICC land, despite the section on which the Garden Square Restaurant stands being in dispute between the Corporation and the county government of Nairobi.
Ondeng indicated that the Corporation’s stated value in the Financial Year 2019/20 of Sh2.3 billion only related to the block where the KICC tower block is situated and that the area surrounding the building is not part of the stated value since it is unallocated Government land.