Raila claims Jubilee used Waiguru to 'steal' money for 2017 polls

Cord leader says NYS scandal was a ploy by government to swindle funds from the national kitty.

Sunday February 21 2016

Former Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru (left) and Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti leave parliament Buildings on November 4, 2015 after appearing before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee where they were grilled on the ministry's expenditure. Cord leader Raila Odinga claims Ms Waiguru was used by Jubilee to 'steal' NYS funds ahead of 2017 polls. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru (left) and Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti leave parliament Buildings on November 4, 2015 after appearing before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee where they were grilled on the ministry's expenditure. Cord leader Raila Odinga claims Ms Waiguru was used by Jubilee to 'steal' NYS funds ahead of 2017 polls. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
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Cord leader Raila Odinga on Saturday claimed that the former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru was an agent hired by the Jubilee government to steal public funds ahead of the 2017 General Elections.

Speaking at a funeral in Bondo, Mr Odinga said that the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal that saw millions of shillings lost was a ploy by the government to swindle funds from the national kitty.

The Cord leader, in what appeared to be a reference to the new NYS scandal revelations, said that the Jubilee government has lost direction and its officials do not know how to differentiate public from private property.

“Waiguru is an agent of somebody in the government. She was placed there systematically to create an ample environment through which the national government can swindle funds from the National Treasury for its own gain,” said Mr Odinga at the burial of Mr Dave Okwach, ODM vice chairman Kisumu County.

The new revelations are contained in an affidavit signed by Ms Josephine Kabura, who moved to court seeking to be enjoined in a case filed by the Asset and Recovery Agency against eight individuals alleged to have benefited from the Sh791million NYS scandal.

Mr Odinga also lashed out at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for “beating around the bush” by claiming that it had cleared Ms Waiguru over other issues and not the NYS saga.

The anti-corruption agency has reopened investigations into Ms Waiguru's role in the loss of sh791m after Ms Kabura claimed that she was the architect of the scam.

Mr Odinga was accompanied by Siaya Senator James Orengo, ODM national chairman John Mbadi, secretary general Ababu Namwamba, a host of governors and MPs.

He said that claims by the Jubilee government that he was envious of the NYS projects in Kibera were false, insisting that the funds allocated to support the project did not met the expected standards.

The Cord leader also accused the jubilee of trying to corrupt government organs that are created by the Constitution investigate and tame graft.

He said that since Jubilee took power, it has watered down powers of the National Intelligence Service, Judiciary, EACC and other independent bodies.

VOTER REGISTRATION

The ODM leader at the same time pleaded with his supporters in western Kenya to turn out in large numbers and register as voters ahead of the 2017 elections.

Mr Odinga said the voter apathy currently witnessed in a number of polling stations across the country was disappointing and shameful.

“It is unfortunate that in our region, clerks wait the whole day without people turning up to register as voters unlike in other regions where a majority have taken up voters cards,” he said.

Cord coalition has indicated that it is targeting at least four million new voters as part of their strategy to counter Jubilee coalition's ‘tyranny of numbers’.

Mr Odinga on Saturday said the poor attitude towards voter registration was letting him down adding that Nyanza and western Kenya region have the potential of taking him to State House come 2017.

“A general without an army is a civilian. The only way I can become a general is through your votes. Please take advantage of this ongoing exercise and register as voters,” said Mr Odinga.

The Siaya Senator, on the other hand, said that President Uhuru Kenyatta must tell Kenyans where the funds stolen in the NYS went.

“Mr Kenyatta knows where the NYS monies went to because the government spokesman Manoah Esipisu categorically stated that no money was lost. The country cannot be safe unless all money is put where is safe,” he said.

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