Legislators grill Prisons boss over transfer of Sh250 million to NIS

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 05:00 | By
Legislators grill Prisons boss over transfer of Sh250 million to NIS
Kenya Prisons Service (KPS) Commissioner General John Warioba. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kenya Prisons Service (KPS) was yesterday taken to task over its decision to transfer Sh450 million from the Prisons Enterprise Fund (PEF) without the approval of the National Assembly.

National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) was informed that of the Sh450 million, Sh250 million was transferred to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to acquire a machine to produce the new generation vehicle number plates while Sh200 million was allocated to the construction of Magereza Hospital in Ruiru, Kiambu County.

At a meeting between the committee and the KPS led by the Commissioner General John Warioba, MPs learnt that even after reallocating the funds, the National Assembly was not notified of the move within two months as per the Constitution for post facto approval in the supplementary budget.

Led by the committee chair George Murugara (Tharaka) and vice chair Mwangi Mutuse (Kibwezi West), the MPs demanded that KPS tables documents showing how the transfer was done and whether there was approval by National Treasury.

In particular, Murugara sought to know why the department was so generous to donate its revenue to another government agency yet they were asking for more funds to meet their budget deficit.

Said Murugara: “Please tell us why despite you having such money the status of our prisons is in a very bad state. We visited Shimo La Tewa in Mombasa and we were shocked.”

Mutuse, wondered what was so urgent in then transfer that could not wait for the approval of the National Assembly.

“How was the transfer done without the approval of the National Assembly? Please don’t tell us that it is a security issue,” posed Mutuse.

In his response, Warioba (pictured) said he was not in office when the Sh450 million was transferred, but explained that the re-allocation of the Sh250 million was authorised by the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC).

“NSAC sat and decided that NIS procures the machine to produce the vehicle number plates machine. It is true that Parliament was not involved in the approval but the money went to the entity that was meant to procure the machine,” he said.

When asked to confirm whether the machine was procured, Warioba said he was not in a position to do this as he had not yet seen it.

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