Cord leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday declared the prosecution of Devolution Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti as an attempt by the Jubilee administration to cover up for the beneficiaries of corruption at the National Youth Service.
Mr Odinga’s protest came as police summoned Mr Mangiti and NYS Director-General Nelson Githinji to appear before the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit for final interrogation before they are arraigned in court.
Dr Githinji announced on Monday night that he had stepped aside from the position to clear his name.
Mr Odinga, in a statement issued from London, said that the speedy decision to prosecute Mr Mangiti and Dr Githinji was a cover up for the highest beneficiaries of the Sh695 million scandal.
“I believe Peter Mangiti and Nelson Githinji are not alone in whatever they are accused of doing. They are just but the apostles of the High Priestess of corruption in Kenya, whom, for some mysterious reasons, the Jubilee regime is determined to protect at all costs,” the Cord leader said.
Mr Odinga has in the past sharply criticised the way the government has handled the loss of Sh791 million at NYS and the conspiracy to scheme another Sh695 million and has on several occasions demanded the suspension of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, who he claims, is being protected by State House.
On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta told Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter to stop antagonising Ms Waiguru.
Mr Keter has been seeking to table a Motion to impeach Ms Waiguru over corruption allegations at NYS.
AUDIT NYS TENDERS
On Tuesday, Mr Odinga demanded that an international audit firm be appointed to examine all the tenders that have been awarded by NYS since 2013 and unearth the money trail to trace the beneficiaries of the scandals.
“The only way the government can convince Kenyans that it is genuine in its anti-corruption drive on this NYS saga is by appointing an independent international audit firm to look into the transactions and accounts of NYS and all the tender procurement and payment since April 2013 and assign responsibility,” he said.
“The firm must be instructed to follow the money trail and unearth the real beneficiaries of these payments. The report of the firm should be made public and submitted simultaneously to both the President and Parliament.”
If the government fails to appoint an international audit firm, it would be taken as proof that it was covering up and protecting the beneficiaries, he said.
CONSPIRACY TO STEAL
On Monday, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko allowed the prosecution of Mr Mangiti and Dr Githinji for attempting to obstruct NYS Deputy Director-General Adan Harakhe from reporting to the Directorate Criminal Investigations (DCI) the conspiracy to steal Sh695.4 million from the institution.
The two are to be charged alongside businessman Benson Gethi Muchemi and others on the recommendations of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
“The charging of Mangiti and Githinji is just a tip of the iceberg. The plot is way much thicker than we are being told. The script being played out is exactly the same as the one that was played out in the Anglo Leasing scandal. It starts with denial, then claims that no money was lost, then with the return of money and finally in the taking down of a few fall guys,” said Mr Odinga.
On Tuesday, DCI boss Ndegwa Muhoro said only four senior officials from the Devolution Ministry and a businessman had appeared before the detectives and would be arraigned in court Thursday.
WAIGURU WILL NOT BE INVESTIGATED
Mr Muhoro, however, said the police would not investigate Ms Waiguru.
“We had finalised our case and the other matter was being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said.
Early last week, Mr Mangiti and CS Waiguru were questioned for several hours by the EACC. Ms Waiguru’s lawyer, Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, later said that Ms Waiguru would at best be a witness in the case.
On Tuesday, Mr Mangiti and Dr Githinji said they were yet to be summoned.
Police had earlier said they would not arrest the two but they were interested in questioning them before they can be charged in court.
When the Nation team visited Mr Mangiti's office at the Treasury on Tuesday, junior staff said he had not reported to work.
Dr Githinji said he was waiting for further directions from the office of the DPP.
“After the recommendation, there is a process to be followed. I am just waiting for further directions and I will go by what he advises because I have nothing to hide,” he said in a telephone interview.
He expressed confidence that he would be cleared of the allegations.
Reports by Bernard Namunane, Stella Cherono and Zadock Angira.