MPs query Waiguru link in fresh Youth Fund scandal
The ministry of devolution is embroiled in yet another alleged corruption scandal. The Youth Enterprise Development Fund lost 180 million Shillings which was paid to a consultancy firm which never rendered any services to the fund. A further 220 million shillings the fund had invested in a fixed deposit account cannot be accounted for. The public investments committee which grilled the fund’s chief executive Bruce Odhiambo established that the CEO gave the authority to transact to one signatory in the name of Catherine Namuye who then signed the transfer of the 180 million shillings.
Members of a parliamentary watchdog investigating an alleged Sh400 million fraud at the Youth Enterprise Fund have warned of possible massive rot at the agency.
And the names of former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and her sacked PS, Peter Mangiti, featured in yesterday proceedings. MPs questioned why fund chairman Bruce Odhiambo suspended Finance Manager Benedict Atavachi, a junior officer, and proceeded to copy the letter to Waiguru and Mangiti. The Public Investment Committee (PIC) put YEDF Chairman Bruce Odhiambo to task yesterday over the alleged malfeasance, the names of former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and her sacked Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti came up. Suspended Youth Enterprise Development Fund’s Finance Manager Benedict Atavachi when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee (PIC) yesterday. (PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO/ STANDARD) MPs wanted to know why Mr Odhiambo suspended finance manager Benedict Atavachi, a junior officer, and copied the sacking letter to Waiguru and Mangiti. See also: What to do to redeem Supreme Court’s image The Public Investment Committee’s (PIC) concern was whether the fund’s boss was acting under duress or directives from any quarters, or if there was a cover-up. “Was this a conspiracy to cover up the theft? Were you acting under duress or instructions from the former CS and PS? Was there a motive?” Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa sought to know from Odhiambo. In what could shape up to be another scandal under the Jubilee government, the PIC questioned the handling of the fund following claims of embezzlement of Sh180 million. The fund was under the Devolution and Planning ministry, which was headed by Waiguru, who has since resigned as Cabinet Secretary, and Mangiti, who is facing charges over the Sh791 million National Youth Service scandal. Odhiambo, the YEDF board chairman, stunned the MPs when he admitted he unilaterally appointed the chief executive officer, Ms Catherine Namuye, as the sole signatory to the kitty’s investment account against the board’s recommendation for multiple signatories. Ten days after the changes, Namuye, who has since been suspended, authorised the Sh180 million payments for consultancy services that MPs were told were never rendered.
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