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How Mutahi Ngunyi got overpaid by Sh12.5m for NYS job

Political commentator and consultant Mutahi Ngunyi was paid Sh12.5 million more than was due to him for developing a strategy for the restructuring of the National Youth Service, the Auditor-General has said.

Mr Ngunyi’s firm, The Consulting House, was hired to restructure the service in what later came to be referred to as the NYS 5-Point Vision.

It had two contracts — one signed in March 2014 for Sh40 million and another for Sh50 million.

The first one was fulfilled and Mr Ngunyi was paid. However, it was in the second one that Auditor-General Edward Ouko discovered that he was paid Sh62.5 million, which was 25 per cent more than the agreed contractual sum of Sh50 million.

COPY OF INVOICE

“Further enquiries revealed that the payment of Sh12.5 million on April 21, 2015 was done using a copy of (the) invoice dated March 11, 2015, which had been used to support an earlier payment of the same amount done on March 16, 2015,” the Auditor-General said.

The firm was registered in November 2009 and its directors are Mr Godfrey Mutahi Ngunyi and Ms Judith Langat Mutahi.

Mr Ouko, however, does not state whether the money was refunded or any steps taken to recover it.

His report was compiled at the behest of the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, and will form the basis of the team’s inquiry into NYS issues.

Mr Ngunyi’s name was cited in connection with the NYS scandal, when it was revealed that he had been paid Sh38 million by the service.

He responded by saying he had actually been paid more, which the Auditor-General found out to be true.

A company called Out of the Box Solutions Ltd will also be investigated by the National Assembly team after the Auditor-General questioned why it was awarded a contract for publicity for the Planning Department, at a cost of Sh302.46 million.

Officially, the contract was for “Consultancy to offer users support services and conduct sensitisation campaigns to enhance access to the 30 per cent reservation of government procurement opportunities for the youth, women and persons with disability”.

VAGUE JOB

But the long title aside, it was a vague job and there was no way of ascertaining whether the schedule of activities set out had been achieved before payment was made, according to Mr Ouko.

“It was, therefore, possible to make payments as provided in the schedule of activities without the purpose being achieved. Payments ought to be based on achievements of measurable targets of the impact of the sensitisation campaigns,” he said in the report.

This was especially the case in a payment of Sh90.74 million made on August 13, 2015, he added.

So suspicious was the bank when the big payment was made from the ministry’s coffers that it asked the Planning Department to confirm, through the Central Bank, whether they had the right client.

“No document was provided for audit to confirm that indeed the beneficiary and details of the payment were meant for Out of the Box Solutions Ltd,” the Auditor-General concluded.