Economy

MPs clash as Waiguru is grilled over NYS hack scam

anne

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru appears before joint National Assembly Finance and Labour Committees at Continental House in Nairobi on July 7, 2015. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI

Tempers flared in Parliament on Tuesday after Jubilee MPs clashed with a section of Cord legislators as they questioned Devolution and Planning Secretary Anne Waiguru over the attempted Sh826 million hacking scam at the National Youth Service.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandai and nominated MP Oburu Oginga walked out of the Finance, Planning and Trade Committee proceedings after realizing they could not pin down Ms Waiguru over the scandal.

The cabinet secretary had been invited by the committee to answer questions filed by Mr Wandai.

The Ugunja MP, who faced opposition from Jubilee and a section of Cord MPs, had sought to know the ministry’s position with regards to the alleged fraudulent transactions at the NYS.

Mr Wandai also sought to know whether power struggles at the NYS had anything to do with the attempted scam and whether the skewed recruitment at the service could threaten national cohesion.

Jubilee mole

The legislator clashed with Cord MPs Ken Obura while Dr Oginga had a bitter exchange with the Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka over the NYS.

Mr Onyonka rebuked Dr Oginga for calling him a "jubilee mole".

“Don’t raise your hands on me. I take great exception Mr Chairman to the former Prime Minister’s brother Dr Oginga on this matter. I am elected and you are nominated,” Onyonka told Dr Oginga in a shouting match.

Mr Wandai constantly threatened Mr Obura who kept on interjecting. “I don’t get intimidated at all by busy bodies. I will not allow moles to interfere with my line of thought,” he said while pointing a finger at the Kisumu Central MP.

Mr Wandai also faced serious opposition from Jubilee MPs in the committee and several other MPs from central Kenya who were mobilized to attend the meeting to give the devolution CS moral support.

The MPs who included Deputy Speaker Dr Joyce Laboso, Starehe MP Maina Kamanda and Kabete lawmaker Ferdinand Waitutu engaged in arguments with committee members.

At one point, Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire told off Mr Kamanda who kept clapping in support of Ms Waiguru.

“First this committee has thrown decorum out of the window. We can’t allow non-members of this committee to flout House Standing Orders. The member for Starehe is out of order,” he said.

Ms Waiguru informed MPs that no money was lost in the transaction which was detected at the second stage of the 25 process Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS).

“All procurement is done in line with the public procurement laws. NYS has strong internal controls that detected the fraud on May 25 before over Sh800 million could be transacted,” she said.

Ms Waiguru said the matter was subsequently reported to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and that the probe was ongoing.

“I wrote to CID to fast track investigations. No money was lost and even if it went on, the director general NYS would have detected it because he would have been the last person to approve the payments,” she said.

The minister who was accompanied by her two PS’s Peter Mangiti (Planning) and Mwanamaka Mabruki (Devolution) as well as NYS director general  Nelson Githenji announced that out of the payments of Sh826 million that had been prepared, Sh133.2 million has since been ascertained.

“The PS had approved payment of Sh133.2 million worth of contract. Investigations are ongoing on the balance of Sh695.4 million,” she said.

Ms Waiguru denied knowledge of any rift at NYS saying it remains a disciplined force that draws youth from across the country.