Former Environment principal secretary Richard Lesiyampe is on the spot over the loss of a government vehicle and supply of tree seedlings worth Sh40 million.
Dr Lesiyampe’s official vehicle registration number GK A152Q valued at Sh5.46 million was reported lost at Mlolongo in Machakos County under unclear circumstances in August 2013.
Dr Lesiyampe, who is on suspension following prosecution over the maize scandal, has also been dragged into the loss of tree seedlings worth Sh34,925,500. Auditor-General Edward Ouko had questioned the loss of the government vehicle which at the time had been assigned a civilian number plate, KAY 953F.
Ali Noor Ismail, Principal Secretary in the ministry, told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that Dr Lesiyampe’s son and his driver were on the vehicle which was said to have been stolen. “The matter is still under investigation by the Kenya Police Service. The ministry has been making efforts to address this matter and ultimately resolve it conclusively,” Mr Ismail said during scrutiny of the Ministry of Environment books of accounts by PAC. The team, chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, questioned Mr Ismail when he said that the matter was reported at Kileleshwa Police Station.
“How can someone be carjacked in Mlolongo, perhaps induced to sleep, and trace his way to Kileleshwa Police Station to report the incident?” Kuria Kimani, MP for Molo, asked.
Mr Ismail said the driver was carjacked on Denis Pritt Road in Nairobi while Dr Lesiyampe’s son made a similar report to Mlolongo Police Station.
Mr Wandayi sought to know the action taken against the officer who lost the government vehicle six years ago. “We relied on his account and that of the transport officer. What would we do if a driver said he had been carjacked? It’s the police to give us the outcome of the investigation.
“We also cannot take administrative action against the driver because he moved with the PS to another ministry,” Mr Ismail said. Mr Wandayi directed the PS to furnish the committee with the latest status of police investigations, including action taken against the officer.
The committee also questioned procurement and supply of tree seedlings worth Sh34,925,500 to various destinations whose existence the auditor could not verify.
Mr Ismail said the ministry contracted various companies to supply the seedlings.
He agreed with Mr Ouko’s findings that delivery notes were not signed and the seedlings were not verified as received.