MPS shocked firm was paid Sh180 for mere advice

Friday March 18 2016

Suspended Youth Enterprise Fund CEO Catherine Namuye on a past function in 2014. Ms Namuye said on March 17, 2016 that the Youth Fund board had vested interests in the fraudulent payment of Sh180 million. PHOTO | CAROLINE CHEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Suspended Youth Enterprise Fund CEO Catherine Namuye on a past function in 2014. Ms Namuye said on March 17, 2016 that the Youth Fund board had vested interests in the fraudulent payment of Sh180 million. PHOTO | CAROLINE CHEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NJAGI
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Suspended Youth Fund chief executive Catherine Namuye on Thursday turned the heat on her board members, saying they had personal interests in the controversial payment of  Sh180 million to a communications firm.

Ms Namuye told MPs she found some of the decisions made by the Youth Enterprise Development Fund board chaired by Bruce Odhiambo, including making her the single signatory of the fund’s account, curious and suspect.

“We were acting on the instructions of the board which I must say had a special interest in the matter,” she told the Public Investment Committee.

She asked that the hearing chaired by Eldas MP Adan Keynan be heard in camera so she could identify the particular individuals who had an interest in the payment, which the committee granted.

Of interest to the committee was whether there was a relationship between any member of the board and Quorandrum Ltd, the firm that was paid Sh180 million for advising the committee on the best ICT policy for the youth fund.

Ms Namuye said the ICT management tool used by the fund was not implemented by Quorandrum but by another firm, whose work the board had deemed unsatisfactory.

MPs were shocked to hear that a firm could be paid Sh180 million for merely offering advise through a restricted tender on ICT development.

Ms Namuye, who was suspended by the board to pave way for investigations regarding the loss,  said she signed Sh115 million and Sh64 million to the firm, which had not been pre-qualified, although she said the decision was the board’s.

Mr Keynan questioned the truth of the information she was giving, when she alleged that it was the board that made decisions on procurement while the management merely implemented them.