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Sh42 million lost in youth event that never was

Monday July 2 2018

Ronald Osumba

Youth Enterprise Development Fund Chairman Ronald Osumba. The Auditor General in his report for the Financial Year 2014/2015 questioned how the fund used the Sh42 million to organise for the celebration of its 8th anniversary, an event that was cancelled for unknown reasons. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAMWEL OWINO
By SAMWEL OWINO
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The Youth Enterprise Development Fund spent Sh42 million for an event that was cancelled at the last minute leading to taxpayers losing millions that would have helped the youth in more viable economic activities.

The Auditor General in his report for the Financial Year 2014/2015 questioned how the fund used the Sh42 million to organise for the celebration of its 8th anniversary, an event that was cancelled for unknown reasons. Although the event was cancelled, the fund paid 370 delegates that had been invited from across the country sh3, 822,000 for transport and accommodation allowances.

370 DELEGATES

The Auditor General also raised questions on how the 370 delegates were selected even as it emerged that more people other than the duly registered delegates received payments from the fund for the event that they did not even attend. The event was scheduled to take place on February 18, 2015 but was postponed to March 4, 2015 at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) before it was cancelled indefinitely. Each delegate was to be paid Sh10, 000 for two night accommodation and a further Sh5, 000 as subsistence allowance.

CANCELLATION

After the cancellation of the event, the pay was reduced to Sh5, 000 for one night accommodation as all the delegates had booked themselves in hotel rooms but they were still entitled to Sh5, 000 as subsistence allowance for attendance which would have catered for their food and other necessities.

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The fund’s Chief Executive Officer, Josiah Moriasi, explained to the National Assembly committee on special funds that at the point of cancellation of the event, the fund had already acquired and set out all the items required for the event.

He, however, told the MPs that the fund has already received a refund of Sh4,122,313 from KICC, which was the initial venue that had been booked in advance.

UNAUTHORISED

Initially the event was to take place KICC but the venue was changed to the University of Nairobi. Mr Moriasi denied that unauthorised persons were paid, saying that only identified dlegates were paid.

He explained that the 370 delegates included 220 youth who were to be mobilised from all the 47 counties through the regional National Youth Council (NYC) representatives, 50 delegates were to be mobilised through the office of the then acting chief executive officer in consultation with Mr Timothy Gakuu, former Youth Director.

According to the fund, 67 delegates were to be mobilized randomly from rural delegates who had attended the youth previous convention, 10 delegates were to be mobilized from youth serving organisations while five delegates were to be mobilized by Mr Arnold Maliba, board member at NYC.