Unclaimed assets agency denies claims of misusing Sh10bn

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) has dismissed reports of alleged misuse of more than Sh10 billion. The Board of Directors’ chairperson Dr Francis Kigo said Sh31.8 billion sent to UFAA can be accounted for. Dr Kigo said that every coin has a known owner and is held at Central Bank of Kenya in a Trust Fund Account. He said the amount is invested in Bonds and Bills, a position both internal and external auditors have confirmed over the years.

He said that a total of 134 audits were done by different audit firms that revealed Sh11.5 billion was illegally held by institutions who failed to surrender the same to UFAA. Out of this total fund, public institutions with financial constraints held Sh4.5 billion which cannot be paid immediately unless the exchequer finances the same, he explained.

He said that between 2015 to 2022 financial years, private institutions held Sh6.8 billion but has since paid in cash Sh1.46 billion and shares with a value of Sh1 billion that have since been re-unified with the owners leaving a balance of Sh4.24 billion. In an effort to recover the amount without prolonged and costly legal process, a moratorium of one year was given and has just ended and recovery process is progressing well.

Dr Kigo revealed that the 134 individual audits carried over five years’ period cost UFAA Sh416 million in audit fees. He said the amount shall be recovered from the defaulting institutions. The recovery process is already ongoing. Further, out of the total identified assets, Sh1.46 billion has been paid in cash while shares worth Sh1.09 billion has been re-unified with the owners. He said the audit process has by now benefited UFAA with Sh2.59 billion.

He said auditors of good standing were engaged to carry the audit in an open tender and in compliance with the public procurement Act of 2015. “I request every organ of the government including EACC and DCI to protect government institutions from manipulation and blackmail by extortionists and cartels within and outside government,” said Dr Kigo.

Dr Kigo and the agency’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Mwangi last week were at pains to explain an alleged misuse of Sh10 billion worth of unclaimed assets when they appeared before the Senate Finance and Budget committee chaired by Mandera Senator Ali Roba. The two were taken to task by senators over claims by nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba that the agency cannot account for the unclaimed assets.

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