Gachagua Spends 10 Million on Curtains

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s office reportedly spent a staggering sum of Sh10.27 million on curtains alone last year, despite advocating for austerity measures in the government.

According to the Auditor-General’s report on public fund spending for the year ending June 2023, Mr. Gachagua’s office allocated a total of Sh18.14 million towards curtains and furniture. This lavish expenditure raises concerns, especially amidst economic struggles faced by many Kenyans.

The Auditor-General highlighted irregularities in the procurement process, noting a breach of procurement regulations where the office split the procurement for curtains and furniture, amounting to Sh10.27 million and Sh7.87 million respectively.

Such splitting of procurement is prohibited by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act of 2015.

To put the spending into perspective, the amount allocated for curtains alone could have purchased up to 12 houses under the government’s affordable housing initiative, with each house priced at Sh840,000.

Additionally, the budget for curtains would cover the cost of 10 one-bedroom units under the ‘Affordable Housing’ category, aimed at individuals earning between Sh20,000 and Sh150,000 monthly.

Furthermore, the Auditor-General revealed that Mr. Gachagua’s office failed to settle suppliers’ bills amounting to Sh58.2 million, transferring the pending bills to the following financial year.

The report also highlighted discrepancies in procurement documents, including instances where suppliers invoiced the office before services were requested.

The procurement process of the DP’s office was criticized for its direct procurement of furniture valued at Sh2.4 million, which should have undergone an open tender process according to regulations.

While Mr. Gachagua’s office faced scrutiny for these procurement loopholes, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s office received a clean bill of health from the Auditor-General, with no queries raised on its usage of public funds during the same period.