Members of Parliament have threatened not to approve any budgetary allocations for National Youth Service (NYS) programmes until action is taken against those behind the Sh9 billion scandal.
The National Assembly’s Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, which oversees the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, also demanded that the list of the fictitious companies that were paid the Sh9 billion be made public.
During a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia on Thursday, the lawmakers were categorical that they will not continue to give money to the NYS, which is riddled with scandals.
“It is not prudent anymore to continue pumping billions into NYS with all these scandals that we are waking up to everyday. We are not getting value for money channelled towards NYS,” Gladys Wanga, Homa Bay Woman Representative, said.
Meanwhile, nominated MP David ole Sankok demanded that the ministry publish the names of the people behind the fictitious companies that were paid at the expense of those who offered services.
“We want to know the faces of the people behind these companies and the specific amounts they received from the ministry,” Mr Sankok said.
Dr Kobia told MPs that she was still not sure of the exact amount of money lost in the scam since she is yet to receive a report from the investigative agencies.
The committee’s chairman, Mr Ali Wario, however faulted Dr Kobia for failing to find out on her own the exact amount lost.
“If my house is on fire, I must do something to find out the cause and not necessarily wait for investigations and, therefore, as CS in charge, you should do something as you wait for the report,” Mr Wario said.
Dr Kobia said the ministry’s policy on such matters is very clear, adding that action will be taken against those found culpable once the investigations are completed.
She urged the MPs to give the investigators time to do their work.
She told the committee that the payment vouchers that the ministry gave top officials from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations amounted to Sh900 million, but said the figure could be higher.
In a memo to Dr Kobia on May 12, Public Service Principal Secretary Lilian Mbogo Omollo also said the amount being investigated is Sh900 million, not Sh10.5 billion as reported in the media.
The Sunday Nation, which broke the story, reported that the amount in question is Sh10.5 billion.