MPs grill suspended Youth Fund CEO over Sh180m scam

Catherine Namuye
Catherine Namuye

It has now been revealed that the Youth Enterprise Development Fund scandalously paid out Sh180 million to a company yet the invoice received indicated the firm was owed only Sh22 million.

Quorandum Limited Managing Director Mukuria Ngamau on Tuesday told Parliamentary Public Investments Committee that it invoiced the youth fund for Sh22 million but received an initial pay of Sh115 million.

Ngamau was however hard pressed to explain to PIC chair Eldas MP Adan Keynan how the dates on his invoices in its first job with a government agency differed with those on the Youth Fund records.

The Keynan team has learnt all the invoices seem to have been received by the youth fund on 2nd March 2015 yet the firm availed them on March 3, 2015 as evidenced in their availed records.

This revelation comes just days after the National Assembly Public Investments Committee (PIC) demanded accurate and timely audit reports from government agencies to facilitate effective scrutiny of their spending.

Keynan said that this would enhance a span of autonomy that would improve the public watchdog committees’ ability to thoroughly scrutinize financial matters touching on public institutions.

This demand came amid fresh details on how the youth fund could have lost an additional 192 million shillings in suspect bank transfers and payments for fictitious services.

The fresh information painted the picture of public officials keen on manipulating documents and authorising huge transfers of public funds for fictitious services.

Documents handed to PIC showed that the fund paid Sh42 million for its 8th Anniversary celebrations that never took place.

MPs are also probing the transfer of Sh152 million to a company against the board’s instructions.

Documents show that on February 11th, 2015 the fund’s suspended CEO Catherine Namuye instructed the then Chase Bank Director of Business Development Ken Ouko to pay Sh115 million to Quorandum Company Limited for consultancy services.

PIC questioned why Ouko bypassed the bank’s Relationship Manager Jedida Kabiru to personally handle the Youth Fund account.

The Chairman and Board of Directors of the Youth Enterprise Fund have since been suspended.

The team led by Bruce Odhiambo is implicated in loss of Sh400 million from the fund through dubious payments.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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