Sep 19, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Alarm as vehicles ferried across Likoni channel not weighed

Vehicles being transported over the Likoni ferry canal are not weighed as required, raising concerns about the safety of the more than 360,000 people who use the facility every day.

An audit has revealed that the toll officials on information from. Drivers are instructed about the state of the cargo in the vehicles – about 6,000 daily.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu revealed the anomaly in her review of the Kenya Ferry Services books for the year ending June 2019.

An audit inspection, she said, revealed that the weighbridges used for the job were not in use, even though they were installed at over Sh26.8 million.

“There was no evidence of this that all motor vehicles with cargo are inspected to confirm the condition of the load before payment is made, “she said in a report submitted to Parliament.

Loaded vehicles are charged at different charges than empty ones, whereby Gathungu raises doubts about the Sh549 million collected by KFS in the reporting year.

“An in The inspection revealed that the weighbridges were integrated into the control system on both sides of the canal, but were not used. because KFS they n Not used to calculate the use of the ferry by motor vehicles, “said the auditor.

The management of Kenya Ferry stated that the weighbridges were installed as a control measure to increase safety by adding the weight of motor vehicles boarding ferries on the canal.

“There was no evidence of the weight of motor vehicles that was measured by the weighbridges used to control the number of motor vehicles aboard the Ferries go, “said Gathungu.

” As a result, it was not possible to assess the appropriateness and value for money of the Sh26.8 expense. to confirm the millions of weighbridges installed, “she added.

The safety of ferries was a concern for many road users, especially after the death of a woman and her child who pulled their vehicle off the ferry slipped September 2019.

This incident sparked a national turmoil over the safety and emergency measures on the canal. Further reports state that some of the ferries have since been declared unseaworthy.

KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa once told parliament that each of the six ships has special types of vehicles that can be loaded.

Aside from safety concerns, the auditor raised concerns about the delays in the delivery of two new ferries, the procurement of which began in August 2015.

KFS Limited has signed a contract for the delivery and delivery of two new passenger ferries a price of Sh 1.9 billion, of which a deposit of Sh 598 million. to the local agent.

According to the contract signed in June 2015, the new ferries should be delivered after 17 months, but the first ferry was delivered in July 2017.

The second ferry was delivered in April 2020 with a delay of about five years, of which Kenya Ferry Services has already paid Sh1.5 billion with the contractor, who also owed Sh239.5 million on the date.

“In In light of the foregoing, and due to the unreasonable delay, it was not possible to confirm the value for money for the construction and delivery of the two new ferries, ”the auditor said.

Kenya Ferry Services was also cited for failure to submit legal deductions, including Sh17.7 million owed to the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Also flagged are unpaid deliveries of Sh146 0.7 million in relation to commercial creditors, Gathungu said the situation ation represents a violation on the part of the carrier.

“The management has not submitted any explanations for the non-payment of the statutory deductions under income tax, upper limit 470. The amount not transferred will result in interest and penalties,” warned the Auditor.

The auditor also determined that the financial statements for the service did not meet the International Public Sector Accounting Standards required by the Accounting Standards Board for lack of signature from the Chief Executive Officer.

M The efforts to get the signature remained unsuccessful, as evidenced by the Transport PS asking for the annual accounts to be signed.

The appointment of the Chairman and the Board of Directors was revoked by a notice published in the Official Gazette on October 16, 2019 after MV Harambee’s car slipped and a woman and her child died.