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Audit Report Reveals How Bursary Funds were allocated to Ghost Students

An audit report of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) that was tabled in Parliament has revealed a dark scheme on how the funds were lost using ghost students.

Bursary funds worth millions of shillings were issued to students whose records were not traceable and whose applications did not contain the names of their institutions of education.

It has been revealed that when Auditor General Nancy Gathungu asked for the documents to do verification, they were not availed.

Millions were spent by some constituencies in funding students in private technical institutions but were not able to furnish the auditor general with the list of recipients or proof of training.

In some instances, bursaries were awarded without the NG-CDF committee holding a meeting over the same as is required by the law. The law requires that a review of the applicant’s financial needs is done to ensure that students who are in need are the ones who receive the funds.

This simply means that the funds went to pupils who they were not intended for or even went to ghost students or unworthy cases.

For example in Turkana West, Kshs. 29 Million was distributed as bursaries to secondary schools and post-secondary institutions, as revealed by a report for the fiscal year ending in June 2021.

“There was no evidence to confirm that vetting, identification and categorizing of needy students was done by the bursary subcommittee. This is contrary to the NG-CDF board circular which requires the formation of a sub-committee to manage the bursary scheme,” read the report.

As revealed by the audit, there is no database of secondary schools, colleges, and universities registered by the Ministry of Education that can be used to determine whether or not the beneficiaries are indeed attending the mentioned institutions.

The same was also realized in Embakasi South where Kshs. 17.5 million had been provided to higher institutions for various training programs in a report for the years between 2010-2020.

There is no documentation given to confirm the receipt of the funds, the training of the recipients, or their acquisition of the necessary skills was supplied.

According to the auditor-general, this put the legitimacy and regularity of the disbursements in doubt.

According to a 2019-20 report, Kshs. 24.9 million was distributed to students in secondary and post-secondary institutions in Lungalunga but there’s no proof that the committee had gone through the applicants.

“Application forms were not supported with evidence of enrolment in the learning institutions. In the circumstances, the accuracy and completeness of the bursary disbursements amounting to Kshs. 24,946,078 could not be confirmed,” read part of the audit report.

Lungalunga is also under the spotlight for procurement violations amounting to Kshs. 19 million that occurred during the period under scrutiny.

According to the audit, no evidence that bids had been posted, no appointment letters of contractors and no signed paperwork.

In a report for the financial year ending on the 30th of June 2019, a payout of Kshs. 27 million in Eldama Ravine has been scrutinized due to no list of beneficiaries per school and the amounts disbursed being provided.

“The bursary policy and evidence of the bursary committee’s work were not availed for audit. The authenticity of the bursary beneficiaries could not be established,” read the audit.

The Baringo Central auditor also laid the blame on the CDF committee for spending 3.4 Million to inspect projects.

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