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Ex-DCI Muhoro’s diplomatic overpay and questions journalists should ask

Some Sh5.1 million in overpaid salary is still at large, four months after ex-DCI chief Ndegwa Muhoro’s diplomacy contract ended in 2023. It is high time journalists pressed questions. Who will recover the taxpayers’ money?

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in a story published in Business Daily on February 26 told Kenyans that Muhoro was overpaid by almost twice his rightful amount for 27 consecutive months as Kenya’s ambassador to Malaysia between 2018 and 2023.

The story titled “Ex-DCI boss overpaid KSh6.8m in Malaysia mission job“, stated that out of this amount, only Sh1.7 million had been recovered by December 2023 when the former sleuth chief left Kuala Lumpur and reportedly proceeded on retirement, leaving Sh5.1 million unrecovered.

The bigger issue here is what the relevant government agencies are doing to ensure these public funds are fully recovered, at whatever cost.

Journalists should persistently pursue this matter to the end. One, because Gathungu appeared to have thrown in the towel when being quoted by Business Daily as saying: “In the circumstances, the ministry may not be able to recover the outstanding amount by the end of the officer’s contract”.

According to the Auditor General’s office, Muhoro was meant to be earning Sh344,286 in line with his job group, but this was almost doubled to Sh659, 286, and later increased to Sh661, 676.

It’s not too late for journalists as the voice of the citizens to find out if other plausible ways exist to recover the public funds or who in the Treasury should be held squarely responsible for this.

While the excess money recovery process was set at the rate of Sh100,000 per month, journalists should also seek clarification, the reason it took so long to rectify the error.

Journalists need to explore information to establish whether the recovery process was a “buy time affair”, predetermined of Muhoro’s retirement fate.

Muhoro too should be sought to shed light on this critical matter, considering that he has been a public figure, serving in the sensitive national security docket, and now as an honourable member bearing the title ‘ambassador’.

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