Economy

Auditor unable to ascertain ownership of Kenya National Theatre land


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Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

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Summary

  • The lack of this crucial document has in the past exposed prime government land, including those owned by State corporations and public utilities such as schools, to the risk of invasion by private developers.
  • The Auditor-General said failure to provide the documents also raises queries over the correct value of the property and land.
  • The Kenya Cultural Centre was founded in 1952. It is a semi-autonomous government agency under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts in Kenya.

The Auditor-General is unable to ascertain the ownership of the land on which Nairobi’s iconic Kenya Cultural Centre (KCC) building stands, after the State corporation that runs the arts complex failed to provide a title deed.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu says in her latest report that the title deed for the land which hosts the Kenya National Theatre was not provided during her audit.

“The statement of financial position reflects Sh366 million in respect of property, plant and equipment. However as previously reported, the balance excludes an undetermined value of a parcel of land allocated to the Centre by the National Land Commission in May 2016 for a term of 99 years,” said the Auditor General in the report for the financial year ended June 2020 but released recently.

“In addition…the reported property, plant and equipment balance included Sh333,482,559 and Sh1,741,713 in respect of land and motor vehicles respectively. However, ownership for the land and the vehicles were not provided for audit.”

Title deeds are critical documents that show ownership of land or buildings. The lack of this crucial document has in the past exposed prime government land, including those owned by State corporations and public utilities such as schools, to the risk of invasion by private developers.

The Auditor-General said failure to provide the documents also raises queries over the correct value of the property and land.

“In the circumstances, it could not be confirmed that the property plant and equipment balance of Sh366,234,169 as at 2020 was fairly stated,” she said.

The Kenya Cultural Centre was founded in 1952. It is a semi-autonomous government agency under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts in Kenya.

It hosts an ultra-modern theatre popular with local artists with state of the art sound and lighting with a capacity of 345 persons.

It also hosts a visual arts gallery, providing a spot for visual art displays.

Governing Council members of KCC include Ogla Karani (chairperson), Waithaka Waihenya, Nicholas Moipei, and Eric Kiniti.

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