By: MARYANNE GICOBI
National Youth Service Director-General Nelson Githinji on Monday evening said he was stepping aside to pave way for investigations into the Sh695 million corruption scandal.
Earlier yesterday, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, had said that his office was satisfied that the NYS director and Devolution Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti have a case to answer over the loss of hundreds of millions at the NYS.
The two are expected in court any time, alongside businessman Benson Gethi Mucemi and several others, on fraud charges. The allegations against them are contained in an inquiry file that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission resubmitted to the DPP.
Yesterday, Mr Tobiko said the prosecution of the suspects should start immediately.
In his three-paragraph statement, Dr Githinji said he had noted the DPP’s recommendation that he be charged with a misdemeanour of obstructing his deputy Mr Adan Harakhe from performing his duties. He therefore had decided ‘‘to step aside to allow me to focus on protecting my long record of selfless public service’’.
Dr Githinji and Mr Mangiti will automatically lose their positions once criminal proceedings are initiated against them, according to the Public Service Act. Mr Mucemi is a businessman in Nairobi but hails from Nyeri.
The three will be charged with inducing or attempting to induce Mr Adan Gedo Harakhe, a senior deputy director-general in charge of administration at NYS to fail in his duty. They allegedly dissuaded Mr Harakhe from reporting and following up with CID, the matter relating to the conspiracy to steal Sh695,400,000 from the NYS.
“They also threatened and intimidated Mr Harakhe with consequences if he proceeded to de-commit from the Ifmis system the sum of Sh695,450,000,” said the DPP.
The action by the DPP comes barely a week after Devolution CS Anne Waiguru and Mr Mangiti spent hours being questioned at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission over fraud and loss of millions of shillings at the NYS.
Others who face up to seven charges of defrauding the NYS are Regina Mungai, Frederick Okello, Josephine Kabura, Peter Omari Otwoma, Hendrick Nyongesa Pilisi, Samuel Wachenje, Jane Wangechi, David Alunga, Titus Libondo, Chemos Bdiema, Naphtali Githinji and Ruth Hihu.
Others are Charles Nyaachi, Mary Wangui Mbuthia, Ezekiel Karanja Kamau, James Gitau Kanuthi, Samwel Kilonzo, Philip Joshua Otunga, Jenifer Manyara, Rhoda Kavu Makau, Joel Kanyi Karenju and Francis Wanyingi Kariuki.
Four other people — Regina Mungai, Josephine Kabura, Peter Omari Otwoma and Caroline Njambi — will face charges of conspiracy to defraud NYS of Sh695.4 million contrary to the penal code.
The four are the proprietors of Form Homes Builders, Roof and All Trading and Reinforced Concrete Technologies, Dracol Capital, Grumum Engineering and Tegmen Trading respectively. They will be prosecuted for engaging in organised criminal activity and making false documents under the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act.
Other charges include abuse of office and breach of trust.
The DPP has also directed that EACC and the Asset Recovery Agency to initiate asset recovery proceedings over the stolen funds.
He also wants investigations into possible offences of money laundering under the Crime and Money Laundering Act be concluded and the file submitted to him.
Cord leader Raila Odinga has in the past said that Ms Waiguru should be suspended, just like other Cabinet secretaries under investigation over graft in their ministries.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION