Ouko wants the Constitution amended to take over presidential power - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Ouko wants the Constitution amended to take over presidential power

Auditor-General Edward Ouko
Auditor-General Edward Ouko wants amendments to the Constitution to separate the Heads of State from the heads of government, who will work independently of each other to help protect his office from the wrath of the imperial presidency.

Mr Ouko said a Head of State would protect his office from being demoted by a strong President because auditing executives was the same as auditing the President because they were his appointees.

TURBULENT TIME

When he gave his reflections about an eight-year, tumultuous, non-renewable tenure that ended on Tuesday, Ouko also said that before the Ministry of Finance was allowed to read its annual budget with fanfare in Parliament, his office must first provide a card report on how the government made use of resources power of the previous year.

"Under the current system, auditors fight the President and his ministers. If the President protects his ministers, the audit is made easier, "Ouko said in a public lecture when he reviewed his performance as the first auditor general in Kenya under the new Constitution.

He said by having a Head of State different from the head of government, his office would have a protector and this would help make it more independent.


"My wife told me, 'You must be careful,'" Mr Ouko said as he recalled several tumultuous moments.

Analysts praised Ouko for outstanding performance in terms of showing a lack of government financial accountability and exposing corruption. However, the majority of audit reports have never been followed up by an investigative agent. "I think he has done what an independent auditor-general should have done. There is an effort to eliminate office independence, but good it never happened, "Robert Shaw, a public policy and accounting expert, told Nation.

"He helped us understand what was being stolen; but like all auditor generals, he is not a catching entity. His job is to put the facts on the table, which he does. The only drawback is that the audit report ends there, "Shaw explained.

AMOUNT OF STAGGERING

A number from the eight annual audit reports released during his tenure, but continue to dust as investigative institutions and Parliament prefer to look the other way, showing taxpayers losing an average of Sh1 trillion annually through questionable spending. This means that for the past eight years, Kenyans could have lost Sh8 trillion to corrupt individuals and cartel tenders protected by a leaked government financial system and corrupt public officials.

While the annual audit report released by Ouko's office does not explicitly say that a surprising amount is really lost, they are not properly calculated, which means that most of the money may indeed end up in the pockets of several individuals. Since 2011 when Ouko was employed as an Auditor-General, estimated gross government spending has increased from Sh1.17 trillion in the 2011/2012 budget to Sh3.02 trillion in the current year, representing 158 percent growth. However, this surprising increase in spending has grown along with the amount of money whose expenses are suspected or cannot be accounted for.

In 2017, Sh5.1 billion was collected because revenue was not sent to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). In the previous year, Sh3.7 billion did not make it into the KRA even though it was collected while in 2015 Sh3.1 billion was lost between the collection point and Times Tower. Likewise in 2014, Sh2.7 billion, which was collected as tax, was either bagged by individuals or was not properly filed.

Then in 2013,

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