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Economy

Waiguru names individuals linked to NYS scandal

Former Planning Devolution CS Ann Waiguru when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee that is investigating the National Youth Service scandal on November 3, 2016. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
Former Planning Devolution CS Ann Waiguru when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee that is investigating the National Youth Service scandal on November 3, 2016. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE  

Former Devolution and Planning secretary Anne Waiguru on Thursday turned the heat on fellow suspects in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal, insisting they are solely responsible for conspiracy to defraud the agency of millions of shillings using dubious companies.

Ms Waiguru, who testified before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), also sought to absolve former NYS deputy director-general Adan Harakhe from blame, saying he was not the authority to incur expenditure holder (AIE) at the time it lost Sh791 million.

The former minister tore into the character and the person of businessman Ben Gethi, saying he is facing six court cases by four different agencies, including tax evasion and money laundering.

In her affidavit filed in February, Ms Waiguru named Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Farouk Kibet as other individuals linked to the NYS saga.

When he appeared before the committee in October, former NYS director-general Nelson Githinji claimed his deputy, Mr Harakhe, sidelined him and reported directly to Ms Waiguru.

Dr Githinji said this sidelining and his removal as AIE holder rendered him helpless and unable to take charge of NYS operations.

“Dr Githinji was the AIE holder when Sh791 million was stolen from the NYS. He was hired to drive the institution, like in other disciplined forces - not to procure. What is his obsession with the signing off of procurement?” Ms Waiguru asked.

She said Dr Githinji’s revocation as AIE holder happened in February 19, 2015 after it was established that the budget for the Kibera project was inconsistent.

The role was assigned to Mr Harakhe on the same day and he was established in the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) on February 24, 2015.

“It is instructive to note that we managed to stop the theft of Sh695 million when Mr Harakhe was the AIE holder, but the Sh791 was stolen when Dr Githinji was AIE holder,” she said.

On Wednesday, former Planning principal secretary Peter Mangiti said Ms Waiguru with the help of Hassan Noor - who was the director of administration at the ministry- had head-hunted Mr Harakhe and created a non-existent post for him at the NYS.

Ms Waiguru denied allegations that she first met Mr Harakhe during his deployment at the ministry in November 2014.

“I had never met Harakhe before he came to the ministry and there are ways of proving this through phone records that will tell if I ever communicated with him before,” she said.

Ms Waiguru denied former Mr Mangiti’s earlier claim that she personally ordered a further allocation of Sh3.5 billion to the NYS in a Supplementary budget, arguing that budgets are not personal matters.

The committee established that siphoning of the Sh3.5 billion allocated to the ministry for its youth development plans started barely two days after allocation.

On whether she had any personal or business associations with Josephine Kabura, the chief suspect in the NYS scam, Ms Waiguru said they have never met.

“I have never met, seen or interacted with Kabura. How can it be that in the seven years she alleges we have known each other that there is not a single telephone call, SMS text message or any correspondence between us,” she asked.

In her affidavit, Ms Kabura said she met Ms Waiguru between April and May 2012 while working at Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and they became good friends.

She said Ms Waiguru gave clear instructions that she (Ms Kabura) opens bank accounts, specifically at Family Bank’s KTDA branch, for the companies she had helped her register.

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