The auditor-general has exposed a multi-million fraud at Masinde Muliro university(MMUST)
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology(MMUST) books indicate an irregular expenditure of Sh32 million in the year to June 2020.
The expenditure arose from penalties for late remittance of employees National Social Security Fund (NSSF) deductions during the period under review.
Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu points out that there is no evidence that disciplinary action has been taken against the culpable officers.
“Consequently, the Sh32,110,568 for late remittance of employees NSSF deductions amounts to waste of public funds,” she said in the audit report.
The penalties relate to the years 2008 to 2019.
The revelation highlights the deepening cash flow crisis in Kenya’s institutions of higher learning brought by a sharp fall in the number self-sponsored students in recent years.
Under law, statutory deductions such as payroll taxes, retirement benefits and insurance premiums for employees should be remitted during the year they are made.
“The MMUST management did not avail any evidence of measures taken to avert recurrence of such delay,” notes Ms Gathungu.
In July, the University of Nairobi revealed it owes the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Sh7.2 billion amid ballooning pending bills.
Data from the Ministry of Education tabled in Parliament shows that public universities have failed to remit employee dues amounting to Sh34 billion owing to cash flow challenges.
The universities have outstanding remittances to the Kenya Revenue Authority, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Securities Fund (NSSF), pension scheme dues, insurance premiums and sacco contributions.
Remittance of statutory, loan and members’ deductions to saccos and banks are mandatory employer obligations.
Funding for public universities has been hit by a sharp fall in the number self-sponsored students in the past three years.