The Youth Enterprise Development Fund is once again on the spot over Sh172 million that Auditor General Edward Ouko says cannot be traced.
According to the auditor’s report for the Financial Year 2014/2015, the fund used Sh208 million to purchase 1,050 chicken hatching machines that were to be to be issued to five youth groups in 210 constituencies for poultry business.
However, only 144 hatcheries were given out. The 906 remaining hatches worth Sh172million were stored at Kasarani stadium at a cost of Sh1.2 million.
The Auditor-General says they did not conduct physical verification of the hatcheries and hence they are not sure whether they are there or not.
But even if the machines are available, they may now be obsolete meaning that the public has lost Sh172 million, the report states.
“As at June 30,2015 only 144 hatcheries had been sold. That is about 13 per cent of the hatcheries of the 1,050 which were bought. It means the demand for them is very low and a greater amount can turn out to be obsolete due to the fast-changing technology,” reads the report.
The fund CEO Josiah Moriasi, on Tuesday admitted before the National Assembly Committee on Special Funds that the machines might now be obsolete and the board had resolved to dispose them.
But he added that the Head of Public Service, through a circular dated December 24, 2017 ref:OP.CAB/14/21A, directed the fund not to disposal of the machines.
“A prior assessment on demand of the machines was done and a modest figure of five machines per constituency arrived at. This did not happen and the fast changing technology has rendered the stock slow moving,” Mr Moriasi said.
Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris accused the fund of impoverishing the youths by keeping the hatcheries at Kasarani.
The MPs gave the fund management a month to compile a report detailing the number of youth that have benefited from its allocations per constituency since its inception and the institutions that have failed to pay back the money they borrowed.