If you thought the case of Josephine Kabura – the hairdresser who confessed to lugging sacks of National Youth Service cash – was shocking, wait till you hear about Ann Wambere Wanjiku Ngirita.
Ms Ngirita is an air supplier to the NYS. According to detectives, she got a small chunk of the Sh9 billion believed to have been spirited away by corruption cartels.
She has never tendered to supply goods and services to the government. She does not have an office either.
All the 30-year-old did was walk to NYS headquarters and request a procurement officer to allow her to supply goods.
On paper, she was supposed to supply foodstuff, stationery, hammers and firewood.
Nevertheless, she received money in an account held by her company – Annwaw Investment.
She admitted that since the firm has no office or other business premises, she only used a Certificate of Registration of Business and a KRA tax compliance certificate to get a contract at NYS.
Detectives are preparing to charge her with fraudulently receiving Sh59 million in one transaction.
Saying she has never bid for a tender, Ms Ngirita revealed that all she did was visit the NYS college in Gilgil and request a procurement officer if she could supply foodstuff. She did not say if the officer was known to her.
The woman is among 43 people who have been questioned by detectives at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
Public Service Principal Secretary Lillian Mbogo-Omollo and NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai are among individuals who could be arrested.
Ms Ngirita’s case is curious. During a session with detectives, she confessed to not knowing how much she was paid by NYS or what she supplied.
She told the police that the procurement officer gave her a Local Purchase Order.
She was supposed to supply canned beef, pineapples, beans, biscuits and hammers to the NYS.
Ms Ngirita then requested a person she did not name to source and deliver the requirements. She also gave that person delivery notes to fill.
According to the woman’s statement, she does not know where the goods were sourced, their cost and if they were delivered though she personally filled invoices.
“I don’t know what I supplied but I was shown the vouchers at the DCI,” the statement reads.
She began supplying goods to the NYS mechanical and transport branch in 2014.
“I’m not aware of the procurement process as I have never been involved in any,” the statement goes on.
She operates three bank accounts: Annwaw Investment, Ann Wambere and Ann Wambere Wanjiku Investments.
“I mandated my mother, Lucy Wambui Ngirita, to operate the account for Ann Wambere Wanjiku Investments,” she said.
Her mother owns two other firms – Waluco and Ngiwaco Investments – which are among 10 companies whose directors were summoned by detectives.
Ms Ngirita also says that when her mother withdrew money from one of her accounts, it was deemed “a personal loan and she usually paid”.
“I do not own anything. No vehicle, no land or money invested in a sacco or any company,” she said.
The companies whose directors were summoned by the DCI are Firstling Supplies Ltd, Kalabash Food Supplies, Kunjiwa Enterprise, ArkRoad, Ersatz, Ameri Traders, Jerrycathy, Annwaw, Ngiwaco and Njewanga. Detectives are preparing to charge her with being fraudulently paid Sh59,846,740 in 2016.
She will be charged with acquisition of public property, contrary to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
Ms Ngirita sat her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination in 2008. She opened a shop in 2010 which closed down the same year.
She told detectives that she then travelled to Germany “for an academic course”.
According to her statement, she worked at a company whose name she “could not recall” and earned €1,200 (Sh141,600) a month. She was on the job for a year.
According to her, Annwaw and Ann Wambere Wanjiku Investments were registered on June 16, 2015.
On paper, Ms Ngirita supplied goods to the NYS college in Gilgil and the mechanical and transport department in Nairobi.
A source privy to the investigations said some of the people being investigated could be pawns in a complex corruption network.
MILLIONS OF SHILLINGS
The source said a woman was shocked when she heard that millions of shillings were transacted through her account.
According to her, she only received Sh500,000, “which ended all my problems”.
In Naivasha where Ms Ngirita comes from, the Nation learnt, it is a family of traders. Her mother has been selling cereals for as long as anyone can remember and is respected by the locals for it.
The family has come from far, living in a poor council estate and the mother selling goods in the open-air market, before opening a posho mill.
“She was in the cereals trade and operated the mill before venturing into the supplies business. That changed the family’s fortunes,” said a family friend.
“The whole family ventured into the business, opening several companies,” said a businessman who knows the family well.
The family secured lucrative food tenders at Naivasha Maximum Security Prison. An officer at the prison said the family has been supplying cereals to the institution since 2004, or possibly earlier.
But it is supply deals with the NYS that Naivasha residents say have elevated the family to real riches.