Kenyatta University (KU) is seeking the Treasury’s approval to dispose of multimillion shilling property it acquired to set up a campus in Kigali, Rwanda that has since been closed.
The university management says it spent Sh423,896,514 (Rwf3.7 billion) in the establishment of Kigali and Arusha campuses as at 2015.
“Unfortunately, due to various challenges, the campuses were unable to start off and the university council and the Cabinet secretary for Education approved that they be wound up,” KU management said in a report to Parliament.
The university says the Arusha campus had been closed and movable property brought back to Kenya and distributed for use by staff and students. The campus in Arusha was on a rented property.
“The university has sought approval from the National Treasury through the Ministry of Education to have the Kigali campus property disposed of,” the university said.
Parliament had directed KU to ensure that it obtains all relevant approvals before making any financial commitments on opening of new campuses.
The House endorsed recommendations of the Public Investments Committee that Auditor-General Edward Ouko verifies the ownership status of the investments in the East African region and report the findings in the next audited accounts of the university.
In his audit, Mr Ouko revealed that KU lost Sh518 million (Rwf4.5 billion) it spent to set up campuses in Kigali and Arusha following closure of the institutions by Rwandan and Tanzanian governments.
According to Mr Ouko, the university spent Sh420,749,207 (Rwf3.6 billion) to set up the Kigali campus and Sh97,425,152 (Rwf854.8 million) to open the Arusha campus.
Mr Ouko said KU closed down the two campuses due to operational challenges apparently imposed by change in legislation by Rwandan and Tanzanian governments after the university had just met all the requirements and ready to roll out its programmes. He reckoned that the management failed to outline the steps it had put in motion to recover the amount it incurred to set up the campuses.
“Although the university explained that all the due diligence was done before the decision to open up the two campuses, the management has not explained the steps being taken to recover the amount so far incurred totalling Sh518,174,359,” Mr Ouko said in a qualified audit opinion for KU’s books of accounts for the year to June 2018.