Audit: Minister was `allocated two NHC houses’
Posted by Administrator on March 18, 2012
Housing assistant minister Margaret Wanjiru is among individuals allocated more than one house by the National Housing Corporation (NHC), according to an audit report.
An investigation by the corporation’s board said Bishop Wanjiru was allocated two houses in her own name and one in the name of Jesus is Alive Ministries, which she heads.
The report, titled “Distortions in House Allocation: Report of House Allocation Process at the National Housing Corporation”, was prepared by the audit committee of the NHC following claims that employees were irregularly allocating themselves and their relatives houses at the expense of the public.
Bishop Wanjiru, who is also the Starehe MP, was allocated houses in Kileleshwa, Madaraka and Lang’ata II, according to the report.
Asked for comment yesterday, the MP said: “I have been quiet on this report because it is not genuine. It is malicious even on the staﬀ and management, but we are dealing with it.” NHC is funded from taxpayers’ money and is intended to help Kenyan own a decent home.
In its Customer Charter, the NHC says it operates on values of integrity — accountability, transparency and avoidance of corruption.
The investigation reveals the corporation is using public funds to build houses for its staﬀ and senior, well-connected individuals rather than helping Kenyans own their ﬁrst home.
The Efficiency Monitoring Unit (Emu) has launched investigations.
Housing permanent secretary Tirop Kosgey has confirmed they had engaged the unit to conduct further “professional“ examination of the claims before action is taken.
“To some extent, they (Board Audit Committee members) have done a good job, but we believe that we need some professionals who would go deeper and find out the cause,“ he said.
Reports also indicate that the Ethics and anti-Corruption detectives had launched investigations into the matter.
The audit shows that 78 staff members have multiple allocations totalling 209 units, with one senior member of staff having seven houses in her name and 14 others allocated to relatives.
Three people have been allocated between five and six houses each, the report says.
“This assignment has also revealed that, going by sampling of eight housing schemes, over 50 per cent of all allocations on NHC schemes are likely to go to persons who never met the minimum requirements and that nearly a quarter of applicants will miss being allocated a house though they meet the requirements,“ the audit adds.
The report says that in every scheme, 10 to 20 per cent of the housing units are reserved for NHC staff, although these do not always go to them. “This exercise has also shown an entrenched practice in which about 10 per cent of units in every scheme will be reserved as “special cases“ at the discretion of the managing director, purportedly to be allocated to high level personalities making requests for allocation,“ it says.
The findings show that the house allocation process is flawed and has loopholes resulting in significant distortions.
Names of some individuals, who did not even apply for the houses, are introduced during the House Allocation Committee meetings and end up as beneficiaries of the units despite the fact that they had not even paid deposits.
Source: DAILY NATION
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