Economy

Tough queries for PS nominee over his two bank accounts in S. Africa

HINGA-PS

Housing Principal Secretary nominee Charles Hinga. NMG PHOTO


Parliament put Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga, whose net worth is 214.8 million, on task for operating two bank accounts outside Kenya.
Mr Hinga told MPs that he operates two accounts in South Africa where his family resides. One has Sh8.8 million while another holds Sh7.2 million all being goodwill proceeds from South African firms and businesses he owns.

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Article 76(2) of the Constitution provides that public officers must not open or continue operating a bank account outside Kenya without approval from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
The Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012 requires government employees to be cleared to operate bank accounts outside Kenya.
Mr Hinga is one of the six PSs who was retained by President William Ruto from the administration of his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.
“I operate two accounts in South Africa. I have fully disclosed the accounts to the EACC. I still have businesses running in South Africa where my wife and my children live right now,” Mr Hinga said. “I have submitted this disclosure every two years to the EACC".

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The National Assembly’s Housing committee demanded to know if the PS nominee was cleared to operate the two bank accounts.
The committee that vetted Mr Hinga for suitability demanded to know if
the nominee had submitted annual statements on the two accounts to the
EACC.
“I do submit my account statements to EACC. But allow me to check if I
do it annually or bi-annually and provide proof,” Mr Hinga told MPs.
Committee chairperson Johana Ng'eno demanded to know if Mr Hinga had complied with the law requiring public officers to seek the EACC consent to operate accounts outside the country.
Last year, the EACC revealed that 560 government employees had been cleared to operate bank accounts outside Kenya.
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