Siaya county assembly has called on the criminal investigations department and other agencies to take over a probe on how millions of shillings were illegally siphoned from the county bursary fund.
Members of the County Assembly passed a resolution that investigative agencies be invited to probe how sh75 million disbursed from the national treasury in the year 2017/2018 for bright and needy students was spent as just half the amount was issued.
A report tabled by the assembly’s education committee chairperson, Lorna Adida noted that though the full amount, Sh75 million was released by the national treasury as per the budget, half the amount could not be accounted for as the beneficiaries only received half of what they were supposed to get.
She told the assembly, chaired by the deputy speaker, Oduor Odongo, that the county government could not account for the amount in question, adding that there were no expenditure returns to validate the expenditure.
The MCAs said they could not wish away the matter since it touched on the most vulnerable children in the county and resolved that the clerk to the assembly invites relevant investigative agencies to carry out a thorough forensic audit on the fund.
West Uyoma MCA, Okoth Olasi said area governor, Cornel Rasanga could not escape blame, adding that he should be personally held accountable for the missing funds.
Olasi lamented that efforts to get paper trails of how the money was spent had hit a snag, as neither County executive committee member for education, Mary Olute nor his finance counterpart, Joseph Warega were in office when the money was spent..
The assembly recommended the use of cheques to bursary recipients as this will make it easy to trace records.
Last week, the county assembly threw out a supplementary budget from the county government, noting that it was done in gross violation of the laws.
The MCAs lamented that the county government had, among other issues, sought to reduce money for purchase of medical supplies in hospitals and other critical functions, while beefing up non critical areas, such as travelling, accommodation and subsistence allowances.
By Philip Onyango