THE COST OF GRAFT! NYS scam returns to haunt Waiguru
The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee has recommended that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) conducts a lifestyle audit on former Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Anne Waiguru to ascertain whether she was involved in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal where the country lost over Ksh 1.8 billion.
In the NYS scam, the country lost over Ksh 1.8 billion through flawed procurement where zeros were added to amounts leading to inflated payouts to suppliers.
The Nicholas Gumbo-led Committee also wants Waiguru barred from holding public office if she is found culpable in the multi-million shillings scam during her tenure as the Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary.
The committee says that the lifestyle audit report by EACC should be tabled in Parliament by December 31, 2017.
If barred from holding any public office, Waiguru’s bid to contest for the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat in the August 8 polls will be shuttered.
Waiguru has consistently maintained her innocence saying that there has been a well-planned scheme to tarnish her name and bring her down.
The former CS has maintained that the closure of investigations into her alleged role in the NYS scam by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was a confirmation that she had no role in the scandal.
Waiguru has in the past also ruled most of the allegations against her to be untrue, rubbishing claims that she assisted political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi get a consultancy tender at the NYS, and that she deliberately removed former NYS Director General, Nelson Githinji, from being an AIE holder and replaced him with Mr Adan Harakhe to pave way for looting.
She claimed that despite being stripped of the AIE holder’s role, Githinji still maintained access to the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) thus was able to control transactions.
Waiguru stated the NYS scandal might have run deeper in the Ministry since the process of approving transactions went through close to seven people.
During the entering of LPO amounts into the IFMIS system, Waiguru said zeros were added thus inflating the budgets to benefit those behind the scheme.
Reference was made to a project in Kibera where a 3km road was contracted for Ksh 35.5 million per kilometre while another project of building a toilet in Kibera was quoted at Ksh 2 million.
Attempts by the PAC chair Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda MP) last year to have Waiguru take responsibility for the loss of NYS money was futile, as she remained adamant that she did her best to stop further theft.
“We were able to stop the theft of Ksh 695.4 million and it is during that time that we realized Ksh 791 had already been stolen,” she said.
“The bile that most of those that have been probed by the committee have been spewing is because I called the police on them. I cannot take responsible for the theft at NYS.”
Despite the troubles that faced NYS, Waiguru called on Kenyans not to give up on the project, saying it had been recognised as the second best youth project in Africa.
She noted that through NYS projects, the lives of several youths have been transformed with most of them starting businesses to support themselves.
Waiguru called on the committee to probe the issue further and bring to book those behind the scheme.
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