Beleaguered Public Service Principal Secretary Lilian Mbogo Omollo has sensationally accused Kenya’s spy master, Mr Philip Kameru, of grossly exaggerating the amount suspected to have been lost in a corruption scandal at the National Youth Service (NYS).
In a memo to her boss, Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia on May 12, Ms Omollo claims the amount being investigated is Sh900 million and not Sh8 billion as claimed by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) director-general.
The Sunday Nation, which broke the story yesterday, reported that the figure in the scam was Sh10.5 billion. The Daily Nation sources, too, maintained that the amount in question was “more than Sh9 billion”.
But according to Ms Omollo, only Sh121 million was in question and she flatly denied that Sh8 billion had been lost.
“The allegation that there are 13 vouchers amounting to Sh8 billion paid to non-existent companies for non-existent supplies to the NYS is incorrect,” Ms Omollo said.
The memo was written two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta summoned Prof Kobia to explain the scandal that is threatening to make a joke of the Sh791 million NYS scandal, which broke out at the agency in his first term in office.
President Kenyatta’s meeting with the CS came 10 days after Ms Omollo recorded a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in which she said that the total amount against the 13 vouchers was Sh121 million.
“All the vouchers submitted for investigations to the DCI amount to a total of Sh900 million. This is not even remotely close to the Sh8 billion figure that the Director-General of NIS is claiming is lost or stolen,” Ms Omollo said.
In the new scandal said to involve over Sh10 billion, and which has been orchestrated since 2011, ghost suppliers were paid at the expense of genuine ones, while others ended up getting double payments using the government funds disbursement system—Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis).
Ms Omollo said she and NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai had recorded statements with the DCI, with procurement, finance, and accounting documents “dating as far back as the year 2011 given to the DCI.”
“The State Department continues to comply with requests from DCI for submission of documents and recording of statements by officers,” said Ms Omollo.
The Department of Youth and Public Service, under which NYS falls, has received a total of Sh401.1 billion. Sh6.5 billion was dedicated to NYS cohorts and Sh8.8 billion paid to NYS suppliers in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years.
Curiously, while the department paid out a total of Sh39.3 billion, it classified Sh5.9 billion as “unpayable claims”, more than 14 per cent of the entire Sh401 billon budget in the two financial years.
Sh8.8 billion was paid out to suppliers in the two financial years, in tranches of Sh6.2 billion and Sh2.67 billion, said Ms Omollo
In 2016/17, NYS rejected claims of 139 suppliers, amounting to Sh3.67 billion, a figure that dropped to Sh2.3 billion this financial year, when 98 suppliers’ requests were rejected. This year, NYS is yet to process 179 claims amounting to Sh1 billion.
“The payment vouchers rejected were on account of some supporting documents not being attached,” Ms Omollo explained to the CS.
“Some of the payment vouchers were brought back for payment upon attaching the required payments.”
This year, NYS is yet to process 179 payable claims amounting to Sh1 billion.
“The matter involves many people, some of them very senior. We’re part of a multi-agency team. We have a new way of working on corruption cases to ensure that all gaps are sealed before we move to court, including holding pre-trial conferences,” Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said of the new NYS investigations.