Category Archives: Book Reviews

Africa’s Long Road Since Independence is a studied reflection on the post-colonial state’s quest for socioeconomic and political modernisation since the 1960s

Journal of Modern African Studies


Africa’s Long Road Since Independence, London: Hurst and Co and Penguin (Pbk)

Very nice review in Journal of Modern African Studies –…/africas_long_r…
A product of thorough familiarity with the continent, Africa’s Long Road Since Independence is a studied reflection on the post-colonial state’s quest for socioeconomic and political modernisation since the 1960s. Keith Somerville presents the reader with an exceptional analysis of the role of structure and agency (both indigenous and foreign) in the continent’s variegated pasts. Systematically, the author reveals the anecdotes of pre-colonial societies, slavery, and colonialism as the antecedents on which the present-day society is sequestered.
What makes the book special is the nuanced presentation of Africa in the context of agency, change, adaptation, and continuity. In the idiom of Ade Ajayi’s brand of history, Somerville sees Africans as active participants in their own history rather than victims or mere consumers of alien influences. Thus, history in Africa evolves as an unbroken chain of episodes and the colonial era stands as an episode rather than a consummate disruption.
The book is neatly organised into seven chapters. Chapter One sets the tone for the rest with the caveat that sub-Saharan Africa has diverse historical pasts embracing a complex and continuing story of decolonisation and state-building. The ongoing quest for national integration is often troubled by conflicts, economic difficulties and external interventions. Across the board, however, there has been measurable progress and some countries have recorded some outstanding performances both on the economic and political fronts. Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 walk the reader through the nerve-jerking tales of post-colonial conflicts, including the worst act of genocide in recent memory in Rwanda. The chapters also highlight the jarring economic fixtures and somersaults the continent has passed through – most prominent among them the trauma endangered by Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) imposed by the IMF and Western donor nations and institutions.
In Chapters 6 and 7, Somerville assesses Africa’s many breakthroughs within the limitations of a world system fashioned since the time of Columbus to undermine the neoliberal expectations of developing world economies as globalisation expands and deepens. It is in this light that China’s recent ‘rediscovery’ of Africa coheres. Indeed, as Somerville notes, ‘unlike Western donors or institutions, China had the capital and the manpower to make major, long-lasting investments after the financial crisis of 2008, and it was willing to offer the sort of inducements that appeal to African elites’ (p. 310).
One minor shortfall of the book is its silence on what the idea of development entails for Africa in the 21st century. Is it a quest to transmute African institutions into Western ones, or take the continent back to the illusions of pre-colonial order? Of course these questions are tough to address. Every serious Africanist must read Somerville’s new book. It is a meticulous handover memo from a man who has observed Africa for thirty years. Somerville reminds one of Basil Davidson, the late genial lover of Africa, who spent all his career promoting African studies in a way perhaps no other will ever match.

South Africa – ANCYL wants government to stop using ABSA


2017-01-18 18:00

Absa. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Absa. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)


Cape Town – The ANC Youth League will intensify calls for the government to stop banking with Absa bank, it said on Wednesday.

“We will continue to take strong political action and radical campaigns to have the government withdraw its accounts from Absa, just as we pursue them to repay the money that they are holding onto,” league spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said in a statement.

It was reacting to the contents of a leaked draft document from the Public Protector’s office last week.

In 2012, then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela began investigating the government’s alleged failure to recover billions of rands the apartheid-era administration had borrowed to Bankorp. Absa acquired Bankorp in 1992.

Madonsela’s successor Busisiwe Mkhwebane took over the report. A draft version was leaked last week. It contained a recommendation that Absa repay R2.25bn to the fiscus. The bank said on Friday that this was regrettable.

READ: Public Protector lays criminal charges over leaked Absa report

Madonsela’s report followed an investigation by former British spy Michael Oatley in 1997. He probed claims that the Bankorp group of banks was offered a R1.5bn State bailout before the dawn of democracy. His findings became known as the Ciex report.

The ANCYL said it noted the seriousness of the revelations about alleged criminal conduct at financial institutions, including the role of ratings agency Moody’s, in causing the 2008 financial crisis.

“South Africans must no longer trust these institutions in determining the state of our economy and the political choices that we should make,” Mkhize said.

Their “immorality” should be rejected, he said. The money pumped into Absa during the dying days of apartheid was an example of the “systemic looting of public resources by white private capital”.

“The ANC Youth League calls for the release of the report that we believe was intentionally hidden. Government must speedily start a process to recoup all amounts of money that will emerge in that trail.”

The league said banks’ “racialised extortion” of the public needed further debating. Access to loans, housing bonds and car finance was based on a credit risk assessment model that ensured black youth paid the highest interest rates, Mkhize said.

South Africa – ANC losing faith in Zuma’s political theology

City Press

2017-01-13 10:55

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma kicked off the new year by declaring that God was on the side of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Speaking ahead of the ANC’s 105th birthday celebrations which took place at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, he reiterated a statement he has made several times before – that the party will rule until Jesus comes.

This time he went even further, hitting back at the party’s detractors by declaring:

We believers never forget that, just like the son of man who came to wash away all of our sins, the birth of the ANC happened to free the people who were oppressed.

By implication, it would seem, any president of the ANC must be pretty well in with God, and those against him, on the side of the Devil.

Put aside, for the moment, any thought of whether Zuma actually believes this twaddle. Consider instead that it actually fits the liberation movement cosmology of the ANC.

In the beginning, there was the Garden of Eden, centred in Merrie South Africa, an ancestral land blessed by plenty, peace, wealth, comfort and ubuntu – (or human kindness).

Then came the Fall.

The chosen instrument of Providence?

Originally Africans had had the land, and the whites had come with the Bible. Colonialism and apartheid saw the whites grab the land, leaving the blacks with the Bible. But then along came the ANC, with many clerics at its head, with its fore-ordained mission to restore South Africa to its rightful owners. And save South Africa it did, leading the country to redemption by finally vanquishing apartheid in 1994 under the messianic leadership of Nelson Mandela.

Alternatively, of course, there is the secular version of much the same story, told in psuedo-scientific, Soviet-style Marxist language. This time round, the vehicle of salvation is the class alliance of the ANC with the South African Communist Party. This embodied a simultaneous struggle for national liberation and socialism – although now redemption comes in two stages, first that of the national democratic revolution, and only then, the heaven-on-earth of socialism.

Common to both versions is the certainty of history. It is the ANC that represents the people, and knows their true interests and destiny. Even if, on occasion, it follows the wrong path, as the chosen instrument of Providence it will find its way back to the straight and narrow.

All other parties are therefore heretics and impostors, and are therefore bound to be overcome, for the ANC and the people are one. The ANC will therefore rule until the End of History, or Jesus’ second coming. Which is why, in a previous speech late last year, Zuma had felt confident enough to tell church leaders who had become critical of the ANC to stay out of politics and stick to religion. It is only the ANC, apparently, which is entitled to blur the two. As far as Zuma is concerned, it is the ANC which is the historic bearer of Good News.

For as the ANC slogan had it at the last general election in 2014, the party had “a good story to tell”. Which is a good thing, for in his message to the ANC at its birthday bash, Zuma had little or nothing to say. He acknowledged South Africa had been going through hard times – mostly, he said, because of hostile global conditions – but assured the faithful that continued pursuit of ANC policies of “transformation” would lead to better times ahead.

From saints to sinners

The problem for Zuma’s political theology is that far too many members of the ANC have been experiencing a dramatic loss of faith. They look back in fondness to the years of the struggle against apartheid when the ANC – whatever its earthly faults – was recognisably and unequivocally on the side of right and the righteous.

It had more saints than sinners, and its ethos was one of duty, self-abnegation and sacrifice. The individual was as nothing; the movement, the struggle, was everything. Yet now they look at the ANC of Zuma, and see little else but a leader and his acolytes deeply mired in corruption, the party torn apart by factionalism, and selfishness rampant. The interests of the people, they say, have been forgotten. The party must therefore “self-correct” – and do so quickly if it is to win back its sheep who have strayed.

Is there a Martin Luther within the ranks of the ANC willing to risk all and to nail his or her manifesto of reform to the church door? If so, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see one.

Party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has recently positioned himself as the reform candidate to replace Zuma when his term as party president expires in December 2017. He took a firm stand against corruption just prior to the ANC’s birthday. By openly decrying the perversion of the party’s electoral processes, bewailing votes bought by money stuffed in the boots of cars, and deploring “state capture”, he put clear distance between himself and Zuma.

However, he doesn’t make a very convincing reformer. Not only has he previously kept as quiet as a church mouse as Zuma has lurched from scandal to scandal, but he lacks a significant congregation within the ANC.

Nor is it likely that his major rival in the succession race, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife, would get to grips with the corruption and patronage that has sunk deep into the ANC.

As she would have been placed in power by Zuma’s own disciples in order to defend their interests and keep their boss out of jail, she would be too deeply compromised to drive the money-changers out from the temple. It therefore seems unlikely that the ANC will prove able to cleanse its soul and present itself as a credible saviour to the voters in the general election in 2019.

It is true, certainly, that the ANC may be able to use its considerable powers of persuasion to lure some lost sheep to the polls. Yet many will not only stay away but cast their votes elsewhere, throwing an ANC victory into question. Zuma may preach that with God on its side, the ANC will never fail. Yet with the ANC in its present state of decline, God seems an unlikely backer at the next general election. God, it would seem, is not an ANC loyalist, but rather a floating voter.

The ConversationRoger Southall, Professor of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Africa’s middle class – does it exist and if it does what role does it play? Book Review

Henning Melber (ed) The rise of Africa’s middle class. Myths, realities and critical engagements  London: Zed Books, 2016.

The Rise of Africa's Middle Class

In this interesting, useful but slightly patchy collection, the very existence, nature and possible political and economic roles of Africa’s supposed middle class are put under the microscope.  This is a very necessary task because of the way that empirically unsupported assumptions and the ahistorical transference of class analysis of Western industrial societies has frequently been the basis for identifying this elusive class and assigning it roles in the much vaunted Africa rising narrative and in projections of the advance of Western conceptions of democracy in Africa.

The editor of the collection locates a reason for studying the idea of an African middle class partly in the declaration by the African Development Bank of the existence of an African middle class of over 300 million people and what he succinctly, and in my view accurately, refers to as “the bank’s almost obsessive gospel about the role of the middle class in the continent’s rapid and accelerated development” (p.2).  This purported development, a key part of the Africa rising narrative so popular in recent years in promoting the concept of fast and irreversible growth and so encouraging a general sense of optimistic euphoria about African economies having entered a brave new world of imminent prosperity and reduced dependence, has proved limited in scope, scale and certainly in breadth and depth of economic progress.

As with previous African booms, it has proved so closely tied to increased commodity prices and export-led growth that it has not been sustainable and has not led to major development of domestic industry, investment in modern agricultural methods, increases in domestic market size or lessening of dependence on foreign markets, prices for export commodities set globally and continued reliance on manufactured imports, foreign loans and aid. This illusory growth has been matched by illusions about the growth of a clearly identifiable middle class with the income, assets, consumer power and resulting political clout to play a major role in both indigenous economic diversification, sustainable growth and the furthering of democracy.

Melber points out that identifying people as belonging to a middle class on the basis of daily spending or income of “a paltry U$$2 a day” requires substantial creativity and notes Richard Kaplinsky’s acid but apposite remark that “such a category means that everyone not starving qualifies as middle class” (p.2). This strikes the right note of scepticism about the UN’s and ADB’s projections of the new middle class in Africa being the answer to the continent’s developmental impasse (p.5).

The other clear aim of the book is to work out if and how one can identify a middle class. Melber warns in the introduction that often the identification of a middle class and the allotment to it of major progressive roles in economic and political terms borders “on wishful thinking, if not being an ideological smokescreen” (p.8) and this certainly is one of the messages I will take from the book.

Lentz’s chapter, which follows the introduction, is interesting in its analysis of how people who may be classed under the US$2 crtiteria as middle class certainly don’t feel they are and feel that struggle to get by and at most are able to mask their poverty (p.17), hardly the basis for a great economic take-off powered by this group.  The chapter also usefully reminds us of the varied and shifting identities of people in many African societies with aspects of urban modernity mixing with traditional hierarchies and modes of behaviour – again making Western models of class identity unhelpful if not positively misleading.

Along with the above chapters, the most useful are Akingugbe and Wohlmuth’s on African entrepreneurs and the missing middle and Schubert’s on Angola (he rams home the message that people who might be identified by the UN or ADB as middle class have a daily struggle to survive and so are not key stakeholders or potential drivers of economic growth).Akingugbe and Wohlmuth are particularly good at identifying the dependent nature of those who might be deemed middle class – dependent on the state.  The mature of Africa’s export-led economies with gatekeeper elites in charge mean that the sort of small business/commercial/retail/shareholder middle classes found in developed Western economies do not exist in the same way in many African economies where companies are to a great extent connected to the elite class of politicians, reliant on granting of state contracts and so effectively minor parts of client networks rather than having independence as an economic class with wider economic and consumer power through their income or assets (p.75).  They correctly identify the gap between the rather small group of large, formnal companies at the top of the economic trees in African economies and the mass of “survival-type micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at the bottom”, with precious little in between (p.75).  They emphasise the message that political connectivity is still all in many polities and economies across the continent.

These are the stand out chapters in a useful book. The others often seem to go over the same ground but with less impact and I couldn’t get to grips at all with the inclusion of the one on the Dar es Salaam middle class and Kiswahili videos and was disappointed that the chapter on Nigeria failed to identify how one could identify the characteristics of a middle class there, but just assumed there was one..

But it is a volume worth reading for those looking at the narratives of political and economic development. It does strike the very necessary cautionary note about the need for more nuanced research on what might constitute a middle class in Africa and, in some cases, whether one can be said to exist in any form at all.


Professor Keith Somerville, Centre for Journalism, University of Kent, and Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies (University of London). Author of Africa’s Long Road Since Independence. The Many Histories of a Continent, Penguin, 2017, and Ivory.Power and Poaching in Africa , Hurst and Co 2016.


Africa’s Long Road Since Independence The Many Histories of a Continent

‘A superb book…genuinely innovative’ Jack Spence OBE, King’s College London

Over the last half century, sub-Saharan Africa has not had one history, but many. Histories that have intertwined, converged and diverged. They have involved a continuing process of decolonization and state-building, conflict, economic problems but also progress and the perpetual interplay of structure and agency.

This new view of those histories looks in particular at the relationship between territorial, economic, political and societal structures and human agency in the complex and sometimes confusing development of an independent Africa. The story starts well before the granting of independence to Ghana in 1957, but the book also looks at Africa in the closing decades of the old millennium and opening ones of the new. This is a book, too, about the history of the peoples of Africa and their struggle for economic development against the global economic straitjacket into which they were strapped by colonial rule and decolonisation. The importance of imposed or inherited structures, whether the global capitalist system, of which Africa is a subordinate part, or the artificial and often inappropriate state borders and political systems is discussed in the light of the exercise of agency by African peoples, political movements and leaders.

  • Penguin
  • Published 26th January 2017
  • 496 Pages
  • 129mm x 198mm x 21mm
  • 340g
Keith Somerville


Review of Africa’s Long Road Since |Independence

LSE Africa Blog

Book Review – Africa’s Long Road Since Independence: The Many Histories of a Continent By Keith Somerville

Africa’s Long Road Since Independence: The Many Histories of a Continent by Keith Somerville is timely given that even recent African history fails to permeate our modern day consciousness and understanding of the current status of the African continent, says Sarah Bradbury.

“African history is the history of Africans and their societies – plural not singular, but singularly African.”

Providing a fine balance between academic rigour and a journalistic narrative style, Keith Somerville’s text, charting the divergent histories of a complex and oft-misunderstood continent is both an informative and engaging read. Dates, data and analysis are laced with the lived experience of a journalist to evoke time and place in a way academic journals are often incapable of doing.

africas-long-road-since-independence-cover-webStarting with Africa’s long colonial period, Somerville reveals the idiosyncratic approaches of colonising nations and how their decisions regarding power structures, ruler-drawn border lines and the elevation of some peoples above others came to shape the woes that continue to blight those colonised states long since their independence. Persistently resisting the all-too-easy generalisation of Africa’s national histories, Somerville continually returns to the distinct internal structures and particular economic, social and political forces at play within each country, such as the distinct relationship Rwanda and Burundi had with Belgium.

Somerville deftly handles the nuances of the battles for independence which swept across Africa from the 1950s, with different factions of nationalist movements holding varying visions for post-independence. He highlights the close cooperation between the South African independence movement with communism and the Soviet Union, which had implications for a West dependent on South Africa’s exports and severely suspicious of communist power during the Cold War. He elucidates that divides ran not only along black and white lines but independence movements had support from radical white, mixed-raced and Indian South African groups as well.

The troubled relationship of post-independence governments with flailing African economies is investigated, pointing to the absence of an entrepreneurial bourgeoisie, the driving force of capitalism in Europe, North America and East Asia, as resulting in a lop-sided development pattern of shored-up export dependence, aid dependence and power of global markets and companies at the expense of the future of African economies. While this, and the need for a priority of development over democracy, has suited powerful donor nations, it has allowed a deeply damaging system to become entrenched. Despite the uprisings of the early ‘90s, Somerville marks the good governance ‘mantra’ and democratisation process from the late 1980s as superficial and as primarily a further tool used by Western governments to exercise control, criticising the naivety of donor and international financial institutions that privatisation and divestment of state resources would encourage plurality.

Photo Credit: David Stanley via Flickr ( CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: David Stanley via Flickr ( CC BY 2.0

He seeks to unearth an inbuilt bias in reporting on Africa, a proposition all the more compelling from a hack who has himself been privy to the pressures and perverse incentives of the media. Corruption and conflict dominated coverage and ethnicity is often the easy answer given by the media for complex processes. He makes reference to the recent Ebola crisis, in which he suggests the media vastly over-reported the Western aid organisations role and underplayed the sacrifice of Guinean, Liberian and Sierra Leonean health workers, only a handful of stories succeeding in capturing the problems of poverty, poor sanitation and water supply that allowed the epidemic to break and spread and recognising links to decimated social provisions caused by Structural Adjustment Programs: “Africa as a whole was represented as affected, with scaremongering media reports depicting it as a continent ravaged by Ebola.”

He ends on the most recent chapter of post-independence Africa, dominated by the concept of Africa rising, the emergence of development ‘role model’ China’, further calls for African unity and African answers to African problems, while the continent seeks to find its place on the global stage amidst a war on terror and continued hegemony of neoliberal ideals. The picture Somerville creates is one riddled with stubborn underlying issues and a lack of empowerment for regular people despite significant advances made: modern day Africa has seen improved quality of life, freedom of speech and increased international economic interest but poverty and its drivers persist, dependence on primary exports remain and the curse of gatekeeping elites continue to exist in evolved forms. He make links to a burgeoning refugee crisis caused by those fleeing authoritarian and repressive systems of rule, such as those in Eritrea, resulting in the thousands of washed-up deaths we continue to see splashed across our papers.

He concludes that external forces have and continue to mould Africa, with the effects of colonialism still reverberating. But African agency, which operates within and has reacted to outside factors, remains crucial to any understanding of the continent. He convincingly warns of the dangers of ‘examining Africa through a normative lens calibrated to view Western-style development as the ideal,” particularly understanding the informal structures which still hold sway in African societies but which remain hidden beneath formal institutions and structures.

His book is timely given that even recent African history fails to permeate our modern day consciousness and understanding of the current status of the continent. Where international development, humanitarian and political and economic forces continue to face barriers to progression, looking into history to understand better the status quo can be as, if not more, enlightening. Ultimately, this is a top recommendation for anyone curious to understand more about the African continent – whether to get behind the generalising headlines, past the impenetrable linguistic style of academia or simply be immersed in its history for a while.

Africa’s Long Road Since Independence: The Many Histories of a Continent. Keith Somerville. Hurst. 2016.

Sarah Bradbury (@sarabradbury) is a freelance journalist and campaign manager for NGO Communities for Development (@CommunitiesForD). She holds an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies.


The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of the Africa at LSE blog or the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kenya – billions in funding lost by counties

Star (Kenya)

Nov. 22, 2016, 2:00 am
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho with his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi during a rally in Mtwapa Kilifi county  on Sunday November 20.Photo/Alphonce Gari
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho with his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi during a rally in Mtwapa Kilifi county on Sunday November 20.Photo/Alphonce Gari

Governors have presided over the likely loss of billions of shillings in unsupported expenditure, ghost projects, irregular payments and faulty procurement, the Auditor General reported yesterday.

The spotlight on corruption now turns to counties at a time of mounting outrage at plunder within the national government. The Jubilee administration and Jubilee Party are fighting back, saying corruption is a national cancer, not one restricted to the central government. Counties too are culpable, they say.

The report bears this out.

The Office of Auditor General Eduard Ouko yesterday was uploading to its website a massive audit report for 2014-15, county by county. The audit for Central Kenya was not immediately available.

In Kilifi county under ODM Governor Amazon Kingi, for instance, Ouko questioned why the county paid a total Sh133.2 million through the recurrent account without using the Ifmis financial management platform as required by law.

The Auditor says the expenditure could not be confirmed, as county finance officers failed to explain why Ifmis had not been made fully operational.

Read: Nairobi spent Sh1 billion in legal fees, overshot budget by Sh5bn

Expert comment: Wanted: Citizen action against corruption cartels

The county is at the centre of a Sh51 million graft storm. Funds allegedly were siphoned off and paid to two Nairobi-based companies through Ifmis.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, an ODM star, is on the spot for operating four parallel revenue collection accounts: two accounts in KCB, one in National Bank of Kenya and another in the Cooperative Bank.

The county is also accused of running 22 bank accounts, including those for defunct local authorities, with balances totalling Sh193.7 million.

“In the circumstances, the validity, accuracy and completeness of the balances amounting to Sh299 million as at June 30, 2015, could not be ascertained,” reads the report.

The county is also accused of failing to bank into the county revenue fund Sh165 million collected between January and June 2015.

The Public Finance Management act requires each county Treasury ensure all money raised or received or on behalf of the county government goes into the county revenue fund.

The Auditor General also cast doubt on expenditure amounting to Sh24.8 million to fund the Council of Governors, despite the fact the council’s budget is funded by the national Treasury.

The amount was also not included in the approved budget estimates for 2014-15.

In Nakuru, under Jubilee Governor Kinuthia Mbugua, Ouko said five County Service Board members and the secretary have gobbled more thanSh3 million in overpaid salaries neither earned nor merited.

“Besides drawing overpaid salaries, the gratuity payable at the expiry of the contract period is likely to be overstated,” the report states.

In Garissa, under ODM’s Nathif Jama, the county government paid Sh24 million to officers attending seminars and workshops outside their duty stations without documentation.

“No supporting documents, such as bus tickets or invitation letters, were attached to the the payment vouchers…The nature and purpose of the journey made by the officers was also not specified, while some officers collected money on behalf of others without authority,” the report says.

According to Ouko, Garissa paid Sh50 million to a company known as Fatco to prepare its Spacial Development Plan. However, the money that was part of a Sh172 million contract, was paid three months in advance before any work began.

“In view of the forgoing, it has not been possible to ascertain weather the county government got value for money for project implementation and expenditure of Sh5 million,” the report says.

In Homa Bay under ODM Governor Cyprian Awiti, Ouko identified at least two projects worth more than Sh12 million, in which contractors ac where contractors have been paid but no work has been done.

The county paid Sh4,927,290 to construct changing rooms and VIP toilets at e Homa Bay stadium.

However, audit verification on October 9, 2015 — six months after the supposed handover date of May 1, 2015 — revealed construction was still ongoing.

The county also paid more than Sh8 million for the Ranen Water Pan Project. However, physical verification revealed the contractor was not on site.

In Siaya under ODM Governor Cornel Rasanga, Ouko raised the red flag on procurement of air tickets. One firm was paid Sh3,769,600 and another Sh2,986,130.

However, procurement procedures for identifying the air service providers and the payment vouchers supporting the payments were not availed for audit.

“Consequently, it was not possible to confirm whether the beneficiaries actually traveled and whether the services were provided and value for money received,” the report says.

In Nairobi, under ODM Governor Evans Kidero, the Auditor General raised questions about millions collected in parking fees and other issues.

“The parking spaces are usually always double-parked, implying that all parking slots are taken up and even exceeded, which implies that revenue collected should have been more than expected revenue from all parking slots,” Ouko says.

But the county only collected Sh23 million from off-street parking lots at the Law Courts, Sunken Car Park and Intercontinental, with total parking slots of 530. However, with a 100 per cent occupation only, the county ought to have collected over Sh36 million from the three parking slots.

Ouko also raised questions about repayment of loans worth over Sh735 million.

According to the Auditor, no documentation was provided for acquisition of the loan and the loans were not approved either by the assembly or national Treasury.

“In addition, no information was availed to verify when the facilities were started, the principal amounts, interest terms and the duration of the loans,” the report states.

Kakamega under ODM’s Wycliffe Oparanya is blamed for making irregular payments of Shs200 million to pay cane farmers of Mumia Sugar Company.

The county also spent Sh64 million for domestic and subsistence travel without supporting documents.

Payment vouchers amounting to Sh13 million did not indicate the voucher number and the payee.

Payments vouchers of Sh34.7 million indicated the voucher number but not the payee, while vouchers amounting to Sh15.9 million indicated only the payee and not the voucher number.