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NYS scandal probe: PS Lilian Omollo faces MPs

Friday May 25 2018

NYS SCANDAL

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia responds to questions by the Parliamentary Labour and Social Welfare Committee on May 17, 2018 concerning corruption at the NYS. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMWEL OWINO
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MPs will today question two Cabinet secretaries, a suspended principal secretary and National Youth Service Director-General Richard Ndubai over the Sh9 billion scandal.

Cabinet Secretaries Margaret Kobia (Public Service) and Sicily Kariuki (Health) will be joined by Youth and Public Service Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo during the grilling by the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

“As far as the committee is concerned, they will appear before us today. We have summoned them and the letters have been delivered.

"We want to do things differently this time and in two weeks, we will retreat to write our report on this scandal,” Mr Wandayi said on Thursday.

OVERSIGHT
Mr Wandayi said the committee is hoping to deal with the matter quickly, adding: “We have specific areas as far as NYS is concerned that we will deal with today. We will lay the blame where it belongs.”

His comments came as his fellow MPs Silas Tiren (Moiben) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) said Parliament has no capacity to offer oversight to the executive.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, the two claimed Parliament has been compromised by the Executive and cannot offer any meaningful oversight.

“Parliament has no capacity to offer oversight to the Executive, my only hope and that of other Kenyans is President Uhuru Kenyatta,” Mr Keter said.

REVAMP NYS
Mr Tiren called for an overhaul of NYS, saying its resources should be channelled to other viable economic activities.

“We should disband NYS because we cannot continue to put resources to the department and all of it is just going to individuals’ pockets.

"We are aware that NYS has helped many people but we can no longer tolerate the level of corruption in it,” he said.

Two months after President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga ended hostilities at Harambee House, the role of the opposition in keeping the government in check has significantly waned.

ACCOUNTABILITY
Since the handshake, Parliament is perceived by many as an appendage of the Executive since the ruling Jubilee Party has the majority of members.

Mr Wandayi however maintained that the committee will today rise up to the occasion on accountability to public resources.

“As a parliamentary committee we are only dealing with political accountability. Agencies such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations will handle the criminal accountability part of it,” he said.

The summons of the officials come just a day after the National Assembly departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare - which oversights the ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs - rejected a request by NYS for an additional Sh22 billion due to corruption.