Members of Parliament (MPs) have demanded a lifestyle audit on former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru to determine if she could be directly linked to the loss of billions of shillings at the National Youth Service (NYS).
The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, which on Thursday released its report on the investigations at NYS, also recommends that charges be preferred against Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and that Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge be investigated over the scandal.
The committee says more than Sh23 billion might have been lost in the scandal, which is way above the Sh1.8 billion that the Auditor-General had cited in his report to Parliament.
It recommends that the lifestyle audit by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) be extended to top officials of the Ministry of Devolution and Planning on duty between 2012 and 2016.
It says that a law firm co-owned by Mr Murkomen be prosecuted over the NYS scandal.
“The DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) should immediately prefer charges of aiding and abetting money laundering on the partners of the following firms; MM Gitonga Advocates, Ogola and Mujera Co. Advocates and Sing’oei, Murkomen and Sigei Advocates,” reads the report.
It also accuses Dr Njoroge of laxity in preventing financial malpractices, saying he should be investigated to establish if he should face abuse of office charges.
In a swift reaction, however, Ms Waiguru and Mr Murkomen separately dismissed the MPs’ report, terming it unfair.
Ms Waiguru said the report had nothing new to offer and protested her innocence, saying the committee had not found anything linking her to the fraud.
“Those found guilty whether on NYS fraud, the health scandal, hate speech or anything else that is of criminal nature and has exhausted all mechanisms of appeal should be barred. This is not unique to me,” she said in a statement.
Mr Murkomen said the partners of the Sing’oei, Murkomen and Sigei Advocates were being unfairly subjected to public trial with the aim of embarrassing them.
“No individual Kenyan can purport to subvert constitutional order by directing the DPP to charge any Kenyan,” Mr Murkomen, who is the Senate Deputy Majority Leader, said at Parliament Buildings.
He accused the committee members of engaging in witch-hunt at the expense of impartiality, adding that the MPs were trying to punish him because he refused to bribe them.
“We are victims of this incompetence and unschooled behaviour because we became firm and forthright without being compromised by the committee,” he said and accused Parliament of undermining the war on corruption by failing to carry out proper investigations.
He said he would demand a lifestyle audit of the committee members to prove his claims that they are engaged in collecting bribes.
In the report, the MPs question if the CBK governor could have been an accomplice in abetting the theft of funds at the Ministry of Devolution and the NYS and called for investigations to establish if he failed or refused to advise the government on the abnormal payment requisitions from the ministry and NYS as required by the Central Bank of Kenya Act.
The report asks the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to start investigations into the conduct of Mr Hillary Sigei, the managing partner of Sing’oei, Murkomen and Sigei Advocates over the withdrawal and use of Sh500,000, which are proceeds of crime, from the firm’s client accounts.
It says Mr Sigei failed to reveal information about a client who received money from the NYS when he appeared before the committee.
The law firm received Sh15 million from Out of the Box Solutions, a company that was paid Sh90 million from the youth fund accounts.
The MPs have asked both the DCI and the anti-corruption agency to conduct detailed forensic investigations on all the financial institutions that received funds from the ministry and NYS to ascertain if the transactions were above board.
They have also called for investigations into the circumstances under which the Consulting House and its directors were paid Sh12.5 million in excess of the contract sum for an NYS contract.
The firm owned by political commentator Mutahi Ngunyi was hired to restructure the NYS in what later came to be referred to as the NYS 5-Point Vision.
It was awarded two contracts but was paid Sh62.5 million, which was 25 per cent more than the agreed contractual sum of Sh50 million, according to the Auditor-General.
“Further enquiries revealed that the payment of Sh12.5 million on April 21, 2015 was done using a copy of (the) invoice dated March 11, 2015, which had been used to support an earlier payment of the same amount done on March 16, 2015,” said the Auditor-General.
The committee says the DCI should consider bringing charges on the firm’s directors for perjury and handling stolen funds.
Further, the directors of the Consulting House should be investigated to establish how they received funds in excess of Sh100 million from the Devolution ministry and the NYS over the audit period, it adds.