The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is probing an alleged theft of Sh138 million from a donor-funded project in Kirinyaga County that has now entangled deputy governor Peter Ndambiri.
Detectives are probing the missing funds from Homeland Educational International project, which aimed to provide an e-learning solution for students in low-income areas.
The initiative was piloted in Kirinyaga’s Karoti Girls High School, and donors across the world had contributed Sh571 million.
Sources close to the investigation told the Nation that part of Sh138 million disbursement may have been diverted to offshore bank accounts owned and operated by two of Mr Ndambiri’s children.
Homeland Educational International is a subsidiary of the DLAMS International, a non-governmental organisation that helps schools and students in low-income areas to use technology in improving their academic programmes.
Some of the project’s officials said the daughter of a senior politician and some of his aides are also partners in the project.
The DCI headquarters has since called the file to its Kiambu Road offices and taken over investigations.
But Mr George Kinoti, who heads the investigative agency, was yet to respond to our calls and messages by the time of going to press.
The probe is expected to reveal how funds were moved from DLAMS International’s bank accounts, and identify the beneficiaries.
When contacted, Mr Ndambiri denied the allegations that some of the funds were traced to his children’s bank accounts, and insisted that he was the one who reported the attempted theft of donor funds to the DCI offices in Mwea.
Mr Ndambiri said after he was approached over the initiative, a team singled out Karoti Girls High School to pilot the project.
“The team led by Prof Mwachodzi wa Mwachofi introduced themselves and I inquired whether he had all the required documentation and approvals from the Ministry of Education.
“But I got suspicious about the dealings and reported the matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Mwea constituency. There was no money received or money lost,” he said.
Mr Ndambiri added that none of his children have offshore accounts as claimed.
“The accusations are baseless. The fact that the DCI made some arrests indicates I did what was required of me. That is the essence of leadership,” the deputy governor said.
“Somebody somewhere could be trying to do something.”
DLAMS President Mwachodzi wa Mwachofi, in his statement to the DCI, said 11 of his staff members were arrested on June 3 for allegedly running an unregistered company.
He said the employees spent four days in Wang’uru Police Station and they parted with Sh2.4 million in police bonds and bribes to secure their release.
The staff had their mobile phones and laptops confiscated before being released.
During their incarceration, Sh138 million was allegedly wired from DLAMS International’s bank accounts.
Prof Mwachofi said Mr Ndambiri and his wife Catherine hosted him while he was implementing the project at Karoti Girls High School.
The Nation has established that the Central Bank of Kenya has since frozen two of DLAMS International’s bank accounts held at KCB Bank.
Documents in our possession indicate that the two accounts had a balance of $51.43 million (Sh5.4 billion) when the CBK froze them.
Sources said the DCI could seek assistance from Interpol in tracing more details about recipients of the Sh138 million that was withdrawn from DLAMS International’s accounts.