7 officials suspended as fresh scandal hits the Youth Fund


Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) Chairman Ronnie Osumba. PHOTO| COURTESY
Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) Chairman Ronnie Osumba. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The said officers are to answer to queries on how the Youth Fund wired Ksh.10 million shillings to four youth groups, transactions red-flagged in an internal audit for the 2016/2017 financial year
  • The officers, who were suspended in March, include Mercy Cheruiyot who was adversely mentioned in the internal audit report for allegedly dishing out the cash unprocedurally.
  • Others include the Acting Head of Finance, Lending and Investment manager and Credit Officers from Kajiado North, Makadara and Bomet Central constituencies.

Seven officials of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) have been suspended to pave way for investigations following questionable payments of over Ksh.10 million to four youth groups.

The said officers are to answer to queries on how the Youth Fund wired Ksh.10 million shillings to four youth groups, transactions red-flagged in an internal audit for the 2016/2017 financial year

The officers, who were suspended in March, include Mercy Cheruiyot who was adversely mentioned in the internal audit report for allegedly dishing out the cash unprocedurally.

Others include the Acting Head of Finance, Lending and Investment manager and Credit Officers from Kajiado North, Makadara and Bomet Central constituencies.

The youth fund has since invited detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and a special audit team from the National Treasury to probe the financial dealings of its staff.

The Treasury report is expected to be ready within a week while the DCI says its report will be ready within two weeks.

Youth Fund board chairman Ronnie Osumba on Thursday promised to crack the whip on whoever is found to have orchestrated theft of funds.

“The final position is going to be clear. If you were culpable or complicit, we will chase you,” said Osumba. “If you did not collaborate but you did not do your job, it means you are incompetent. We will fire you”

The internal audit report has also punched holes in the financial system at youth fund, indicating suppliers accounts had multiple ledgers meaning multiple vendors for posting payments made.

Likewise, there were instances of double payments for the same services offered with the internal audit team stating millions of shillings were lost in double payment but some suppliers who were paid twice have either partially or fully returned the money.

Nonetheless Ksh.789,000 was lost in the case of double payments.

“We also held the then acting head of finance and head of credit responsible because it was their duty to ensure that processes are followed and that loopholes are sealed,” said Youth Fund board chairman Ronnie Osumba.

The youth groups suspected of colluding with Youth Fund staff in the alleged scam include Dunamis Self-help group which allegedly received Ksh.6.02 million.

Auxano youth group in Kajiado North Constituency was allegedly paid Ksh.4.07 million while Abengecho self-help group from Kasarani constituency was unprocedurally loaned Ksh.2.5 million.

Koroba planners group from Bomet Central, according to the audit report, received Ksh.665,000.

As the fund awaits the probe report on the scam, it has instituted a reshuffle of staff at the finance and credit departments.

This is not the first time the Youth Fund has been thrust into the limelight over graft.

In 2016, then Youth Fund chairman Bruce Odhiambo resigned over loss of Ksh.180 million.

He had been fingered over alleged theft at the Youth Fund, particularly how Ksh.180 million was transferred in two tranches of Ksh.115 million and Ksh.65 million to Quorandum Limited. This was only 10 days after Mr. Odhiambo had appointed the late Ms Catherine Namuye, as the sole signatory to the fund’s account.

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