PAC report ascertains my innocence in NYS scam – Anne Waiguru
Former Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Anne Waiguru, has responded to recommendations by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that she be barred from running for the Kirinyaga governorship seat if she is found guilty of being involved in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.
Speaking during a tour of Kirinyaga on Thursday, March 16, Ms Waiguru said that the committee was within its mandate to issue the recommendations as stipulated in the Constitution, further noting that the report confirms her innocence in the NYS scandal.
The Kirinyaga governorship aspirant further stated that recommendations should not just apply to her but every Kenyan, saying anyone found to have committed any crime should be barred from holding public office.
“This is applicable to every Kenyan and not unique to me. It is in the law. Those found guilty whether in the NYS scandal, the Ministry of Health scam, hate speech or any acts of criminal nature, upon exhausting all mechanisms of appeal, should be barred from holding public office,” stated Ms Waiguru.
The former Devolution CS further hit out at her political rivals saying their incessant push to have her implicated in the NYS scandal was politically-motivated.
“That PAC has not found anything linking me to the NYS saga supports what I have always insisted – I was and still am innocent,” she stated.
“The committee’s recommendations however embarrass those who have made attempts to achieve political mileage using the unfortunate NYS scandal.
She further stated that her plan now is to focus on her campaign and offer better services for the people of Kirinyaga if elected governor.
“I am glad that now am free to fully focus on my political journey and ambition to serve the people of Kirinyaga and better their living standards.”
The report, tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday, calls for fresh investigations into the NYS scandal recommending that action be taken against those found guilty.
This comes after months of sittings which saw the committee probe different witnesses with a view of unraveling the riddle surrounding the NYS saga.
Appearing before the committee last year, Waiguru distanced herself from the scandal saying as CS she did a lot to stop further theft at the Ministry of Devolution, to the chagrin of cartels who were out to steal public funds.
She also named Deputy President William Ruto’s personal assistant Farouk Kibet as one of the individuals who were in contact with businesswoman Josephine Kabura who is suspected to have fraudulently received a payment of Ksh 1.67 billion from NYS.
Kabura and businessman Ben Gethi are the key suspects in the scandal that led to the loss of over Ksh1.8 billion at the NYS through fraudulent transactions.
Waiguru challenged anyone with evidence that would indicate that she knew, or communicated with either businessman Ben Gethi or Josephine Kabura, to table it, something that has not been done up to now.
She also claimed that some members of a cartel, who were and still are upset by her move to whistle blow and stop further thefts at the Ministry of Devolution, have crafted a meticulous plan to set her up in the NYS saga.
Other than Ms Waiguru, the committee also probed businesswoman Josephine Kabura, businessman Ben Gethi, former Devolution Ministry Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti, Director General Nelson Githinji, and Deputy Director-General Adan Harakhe over the scandal.
Despite being adversely mentioned in the scandal, Deputy President William Ruto’s aide Farouk Kibet, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale did not appear before the committee, with Murkomen being represented by his co-partner Hillary Sigei.
Kibet has admitted to having received money from Kabura, while Sing’oei Murkomen and Sigei Advocates, a law firm co-owned by Mr Murkomen, reportedly received Ksh15 million from Out of Box Solutions, a firm owned by Gethi.
Despite his admission however, there are no adverse recommendations against Farouk Kibet, raising questions regarding the basis of the report.
PAC has recommended that Murkomen be charged over the NYS scandal.
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