EACC can’t link ex-PSs to Anglo Leasing cash

From Left: Anglo-Leasing suspects David Onyonka, Joseph Magari and Dave Mwangi in a Nairobi court. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Agency also says company claimed to be a ‘ghost’ firm is genuine.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) failed to trace money to government officials implicated in the Anglo Leasing suit as it emerged that the security contracts were approved by the Cabinet.

Ms Julie Owino, a former EACC investigator, Tuesday told Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo, that investigations failed to link cash payments to the ex-government officials amid claims they had received kickbacks.

Ms Owino, who worked in the asset tracing department, was in a team that looked into claims that the Anglo Leasing contracts emerged without due diligence, were single sourced, lacked a budget and were shrouded in secrecy.

The investigations also sought to establish if suspects benefited financially from the contracts.

Ex-government officials facing trial over the Anglo Leasing contracts include former Permanent Secretaries Joseph Magari (Finance), Dave Mwangi (Provincial Administration), and David Onyonka (former head of debt management at the Treasury).

Ms Owino told the court the Anglo Leasing contracts received the necessary Cabinet approvals during a meeting held on February 27, 2001.

She said the Minister for Finance was lawfully empowered to exempt security items from procurement regulations and allow single sourcing, given the sensitivity involved.

She was testifying in a suit where former senior government officials and businessmen are facing charges related to the multibillion-shilling security tenders that the government has termed irregular.

Ms Owino said the EACC investigations were triggered after former anti-graft czar John Githongo advised that some of the security projects were fake.

Mr Githongo, who was then the anti-corruption adviser in former President Mwai Kibaki’s office, alleged that some of the Anglo Leasing firms were ghost firms.

Ms Owino told the court that evidence gathered locally and abroad showed that the Anglo Leasing firm — Sound Day — was registered and had contracts with the government since 1993, to supply weapons to the police.

Sound Day was one of the firms offered multibillion- shilling tenders that the government cancelled in 2003 and was depicted in past accounts as a ghost company — a firm not registered.

Hearing continues Wednesday.

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