Anti-graft team clears state in Eurobond saga

The anti-corruption agency exonerated the government from claims that Eurobond money was stolen.

Saturday January 9 2016

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) CEO Halakhe Wako flanked by EACC Officials, addresses journalists at Integrity Centre in Nairobi on November 16, 2015, concerning inquiries on the Eurobond Floatation and Disbursement. The anti-corruption agency has exonerated the government from claims that Eurobond money was stolen. PHOTO | GERALD ANDERSON |

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) CEO Halakhe Wako flanked by EACC Officials, addresses journalists at Integrity Centre in Nairobi on November 16, 2015, concerning inquiries on the Eurobond Floatation and Disbursement. The anti-corruption agency has exonerated the government from claims that Eurobond money was stolen. PHOTO | GERALD ANDERSON | 

By FRED MUKINDA
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The anti-corruption agency has exonerated the government from claims that Eurobond money was stolen.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission completed its investigations and forwarded findings to Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.

The commission recommended that investigations be closed because there is “no evidence of criminal culpability on the part of any government official.”

Mr Tobiko said he will make a decision after studying the investigation file. He may uphold the recommendation, order further investigation and also prefer charges.

VALUE FOR MONEY

The EACC also recommended that the matter be taken over by the Auditor-General to establish if Kenyans got value for money in projects that were funded by the Eurobond money.

(READ: How Rotich met with Qatar officials to rope them into Eurobond plan)

The special audit, the commission said, should look into “the development projects that were implemented by ministries, departments and agencies in the financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15 in order to ascertain the utilization of the funds and whether there was value for money.”

“The file shall be independently reviewed by my office and a decision there on made shortly based on the facts, evidence and law,” Mr Tobiko said.

RAILA'S ALLEGATIONS

The anti-graft commission began investigations after opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed that Sh140 billion was stolen.

The EACC summoned him to present evidence, an invitation he snubbed.

According to the allegations, the Sh140 billion missing is part of Sh250 billion raised through the Eurobond.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich was among government officials who were interrogated by EACC detectives.

Controversial businessman Jacob Juma was interrogated by detectives.

TRANSPARENCY

Mr Rotich argued that the Sh140 billion was spent transparently and gave a tabulation of the ministries that received the funds.

The CS had also asked Mr Odinga to visit the National Treasury to verify the Eurobond documents, an invitation which the opposition chief also snubbed.

The allegations turned political, attracting accusations and counter-accusations.

Deputy President William Ruto and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale accused the opposition leader of plotting to sabotage the economy saying the allegations were meant to scare away investors and donors.

Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi had also dismissed the investigations saying only a special audit would reveal how the billions of shillings were used.

AUDIT

Mr Odinga had also recommended that a team comprising international experts should handle the audit.

On New Year’s eve, he added that the government paid Sh9.1 billion the week before as the third instalment for the Eurobond loan.

Mr Odinga added that the payment of interest on the Ksh75 billion component of the loan continues at a minimum of Sh6 billion every six months up to 2024.

The National Treasury published documents stating: “Out of total Sh250 billion of the sovereign bond, Sh35 billion was utilised in fiscal year 2013/14 and the remaining amount of Sh140.5 billion from the initial sovereign bond and the Sh75 billion from the tap sales were used in FY 2014/15.

“It is clear, therefore, that the total of these amounts (35+140+75) is the total amount of the bond proceeds. Therefore, there is no missing Sh141 billion,” argues the National Treasury in the documents.