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Helb chief on the spot over Sh200m put in two banks

Students at Helb offices in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Students at Helb offices in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Parliament wants Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) chief executive Charles Ringera (right) prosecuted for investing Sh200 million in two banks without the approval of the Treasury.

Public Investments Committee (PIC) says Helb went ahead to invest surplus funds on short term placement at Jamii Bora Bank despite the Treasury’s advice.

The Treasury, through a letter dated July 10, 2014, rejected Helb’s request to open and operate bank accounts with #ticker:NIC Bank and Jamii Bora Bank.

The committee said Helb had Sh200 million on short term placement at Jamii Bora as at July 31, 2016.

“The board’s request to invest surplus funds in short term deposits with the two banks was not granted.

Helb was advised to place the surplus funds with the panel of banks already approved by the Treasury,” Adan Keynan, who chairs PIC, said in a report to Parliament.

The MPs recommended that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigates the conduct of Mr Ringera for contravening Treasury Circular No  10 of 1992, which had instead directed State corporations to invest surplus funds in Treasury bills and bonds.

“The committee recommends that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigates…and recommend prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions for abuse of office contrary to and Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003,” the PIC said in its 21st report on the consideration of audited financial statements of State corporations.

PIC said Helb lost the funds it held at Chase Bank after the lender was put under receivership.

At the time of Chase bank receivership, Held had Sh306 million in the current account and Sh100 million in short term placement bringing the total amount to Sh406 million.

The Treasury, on April 30, 2013, granted Helb its nod to open and operate bank accounts with Chase Bank and Family Bank with a view to implementing a smart card disbursement solution.