Waiguru links Ruto aides to Sh791 million NYS theft


Former Devolution and Planning secretary Anne Waiguru. PHOTO | FILE

Former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru has claimed in fresh court filings that Deputy President William Ruto’s personal assistant and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen aided in the theft of over Sh791 million from the National Youth Service (NYS).

Ms Waiguru, in an affidavit filed in court Tuesday, claims that Farouk Kibet, whom she says is a close associate of Ben Gethi-- one of the suspected masterminds of the massive scandal -- are part of a larger cartel that stole millions of shillings from the NYS through fraudulent tendering deals.

The former CS was responding to claims by businesswoman Josephine Kabura who last week claimed that Ms Waiguru not only helped incorporate the companies that were used to receive the Sh791 million, but also helped fast-track the payment of the colossal sum with the help of senior NYS officials.

Mr Kibet was initially named among the suspects to be charged with the alleged theft before the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko omitted his name.

Mr Tobiko’s office later said that Mr Kibet’s inclusion in the first list of suspects was “erroneous”.

“Another person who was involved with the principal actors in the fraud of Sh791 million was Farouk Kibet. During the time of the DCI investigations there were constant communications between Mr Gethi and Mr Kibet with about 180 phone calls, some lasting for hours between the two.

“In my opinion Ms Kabura was and continues to be a front to a broader, more powerful cartel with various beneficiaries from the political establishment facilitated by officers from the Ministry (of Devolution),” Ms Waiguru says.

READ: Waiguru grilled for hours over Sh791m NYS scam

The former Devolution CS adds that Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen also visited her office on several occasions in a bid to convince Ms Waiguru into ensuring that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) stops its probe into the missing NYS funds.

Mr Murkomen, during his visits to Ms Waiguru’s office, allegedly claimed he represented Mr Gethi and Ms Kabura who have since been charged alongside 24 other individuals with the theft of the NYS funds.

“Senator Murkomen said he represented his clients, who were merchants whose funds had been stopped and whose bank accounts had been frozen by the CID. Senator Murkomen passed the message from his clients, stating that I should tell the CID to drop the investigations and that I would face unspecified consequences if I did not adhere to these demands,” Ms Waiguru adds.

Ms Kabura says she met Ms Waiguru in 2012 and insists that the Sh791 million payments made to her companies - Form Homes Builders, Roof & All Traders, Reinforced Concrete Technologies - were for building materials delivered to the NYS.

But Ms Waiguru has denied ever knowing or meeting Ms Kabura.

Ms Waiguru in her court filings adds that Mr Kibet was also in constant communication with former NYS Director- General Nelson Githinji and former Devolution PS Peter Mangiti during the probe into the missing funds.

READ: Businesswoman says Waiguru used her as NYS front

Investigators have claimed that Ms Kabura’s companies were used to make fraudulent payments from the NYS amounting to Sh791 million, which were then funnelled to over 20 other individuals and companies.

Ms Kabura says other individuals in the syndicate include political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi, Ms Waiguru’s personal assistant Betty Maina, Hassan Noor, who is the director of planning at the NYS and Adan Harakhe, who was the deputy director- general at the NYS.

She claimed that Ms Waiguru introduced her to the individuals whom she regularly met to discuss successful payments from the NYS.

But Ms Waiguru insists that she has never met any of the said individuals with Ms Kabura, and that the businesswoman’s claims are “a figment of her imagination”.

Ms Waiguru has admitted to meeting Standard journalist Mwaniki Munuhe before, but says she has never met the scribe while in the presence of Ms Kabura.

She, however, does not respond to the claim by Ms Kabura that she bribed Mr Munuhe with Sh10 million to write stories that would clean up her image.

She also makes no mention of Star reporter Kamore Maina who Ms Kabura alleged the former CS introduced her to alongside Mr Munuhe. Both Mr Munuhe and Mr Kamore have denied the bribery claims.