Waiguru to appear before anti-graft team

Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru has been summoned by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to shed light on corruption allegations swirling around her ministry as pressure piles on the President to determine her fate.

The embattled Ms Waiguru is expected at Integrity Centre at 10 am on Tuesday in what investigators have told the Sunday Nation will be to say what she knows about “the questionable transactions reported in her ministry”.

“The commission is investigating allegations touching on financial improprieties at the State department of Planning and the National Youth Service in the procurement of goods, works and services,” the EACC letter seen by the Sunday Nation says.

The letter, signed by Paschal Mweu, adds: “ This is, therefore, to invite you for an interview and statement recording on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 10 am at our offices located at Integrity Centre.”

Cord politicians and a section of their Jubilee counterparts have been calling for Ms Waiguru’s suspension to allow investigations over the alleged loss of Sh791 million in the National Youth Service (NYS), and recent revelations of procurement irregularities.

In the NYS saga, the Cabinet Secretary has maintained her innocence, insisting she was the whistle-blower.

Indeed, Ms Waiguru says she wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in June inviting them to look into the fraud allegations.

Last week, Deputy President William Ruto, in an interview with the Sunday Nation, explained that Ms Waiguru had not been suspended because it would be unfair to punish a whistle-blower.

President Kenyatta has maintained silence on the issue.

RECORD STATEMENTS

And, after recent revelations before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee over inflated costs, Ms Waiguru maintained she played no role in the procurement and vowed to stay put.

According to the EACC letter sent to Ms Waiguru, detectives will on Tuesday interview her on what she knows about the questionable transactions at the NYS.

The summons, dated November 6, 2015, follow a directive by the the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko asking EACC and the DCI to record statements from various officials, including Ms Waiguru and her Principal Secretary, Mr Peter Mangiti.

The PS appeared before EACC investigators on Thursday, days after a stormy meeting with MPs. National Youth Service Director-General Nelson Githinji had also recorded a statement with investigators.

Ms Waiguru on Wednesday shifted the blame for the alleged corruption in her ministry to the PS and various senior officials.

“The person who should be held responsible is the accounting officer. They are the ones to explain why they bought whatever they bought at whatever prices,” Ms Waiguru told members of the Public Accounts Committee.

On September 25, Mr Tobiko issued a statement following investigations by the DCI into the scandal that revealed the theft of Sh791 million.

ALLEGED FRAUD

He was, however, concerned that the CS and most of those mentioned had not recorded statements.

At the time, the DPP said that several aspects of the fraud raised in the file fell under the mandate of EACC and not the police.

Since then, EACC detectives have visited NYS offices and carted away documents.

“I have directed the EACC be invited to join the prosecution team to participate in the review of the file in order to determine matters falling under its legal mandate,” the DPP stated.

Three companies thought to be involved in the alleged fraud have gone to court to protest the decision to freeze their bank accounts.

The names in the file earlier forwarded to the DPP, and which EACC is basing its investigation on, include that of NYS Deputy Director-General Adan Harakhe and at least 20 others.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION