EACC detectives to probe NYS chiefs’ wealth

By: JACQUELINE KUBANIA

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives are trying to find out how government officials under investigation over corruption claims at the National Youth Service acquired their wealth.

They are seeking to establish if the salaries paid to the officials can justify their lifestyles, sources familiar with the investigations said on Wednesday.

At the heart of the investigations are former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, her Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti, former National Youth Service Director-General Nelson Githinji and his deputy Aden Harakhe.

They are being investigated over the loss of almost Sh800 million in irregular transactions involving the service.

The scandal came to light in June when the auditor-general raised the flag over Sh791 million from the youth service account which could not be accounted for.

The money was found to have been irregularly paid out to companies contracted to provide goods and services to the revamped youth service.

EACC detectives on Tuesday morning stormed the homes of the four officials and carted away bundles of cash and documents believed to be integral to the investigation.

According to Ms Waiguru’s lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, the detectives conducted a thorough search that did not spare even the children’s bedrooms.

Similar searches were conducted in the homes of several other officials at the NYS, Devolution and Lands ministries, and officials in the Office of the President, bringing the total number of addresses targeted in the raid to 16.

NO STONES UNTURNED

On Wednesday, the detectives said that all properties recently acquired by the officials under investigation will be keenly scrutinised.

Officials who have made a full disclosure of their income to the Kenya Revenue Authority will also be subjected to the audit.

The investigation aims at establishing if the monthly living expenses are consistent with the person’s known income, said an official who sought anonymity.

The audit will, however, not be conclusive but will help point to possible fraud that could pave the way for criminal investigations, said a source.

He added that detectives would look at properties, cars, companies and credit histories.

He said they will be looking at key areas such as the salaries of officials throughout their careers.

According to the salary structure prepared by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, government ministers earn a maximum of S.12 million per month.

Ms Waiguru’s first job was as a clerk in a Nairobi firm where she earned Sh6,000 a month.

She has since been employed at the Kenya Leadership Institute and at the World Bank as the Eastern Africa Regional Representative for the Parliamentary Network.

She worked in the civil service as the head of Governance and in the Ministry of Finance under President Kenyatta where she was in charge of the Integrated Financial Management and Information System.

ENVIABLE CAREERS

Mr Mangiti, an engineer by profession, has worked as an assistant research engineer, and has been a director of lands reclamation, the head of donor programmes and was once the acting director of water services in the ministry of Water and Irrigation.

Mr Githinji, on the other hand, worked with Coca Cola before he was named State House Comptroller under the Kibaki government.

He served as the Secretary of Cooperative Development in the government before his appointment to head the youth service.

Before the scandal came to light and ultimately led to the fall of Ms Waiguru, the youth service had been one of the brightest feathers in her cap since she joined President Kenyatta’s Cabinet in 2013.

She resigned two weeks ago after sustained public pressure over the loss of money at the youth service.

She had escaped impeachment twice after motions tabled against her at the National Assembly failed to garner enough support.

President Kenyatta reshuffled his Cabinet last week naming former MP Mwangi Kiunjuri as Devolution CS and replacing Mr Mangiti with Ms Mwanamaka Mabruk.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION