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Anne Waiguru named in yet another multi-million theft

Former Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru had recommended that investigations into the loss of Sh180 million from the Youth Fund be handled internally, former Permanent Secretary Peter Mangiti said Tuesday.

Appearing before the Public Investment Committee, Mr Mangiti, who was sacked over another corruption matter in the Devolution and Planning Ministry, said that Ms Waiguru, who was the CS at the time, had advised that the youth fund’s then acting CEO, Ms Catherine Namuye, be asked to write an administrative report.

Ms Namuye has since been sacked while Ms Waiguru resigned in November last year.

CEO SUSPENDED

“I found her directive untenable and did not act on it since I assumed at the time she was giving the instruction she was aware the former acting CEO had been suspended,” Mr Mangiti said.

Mr Mangiti, who said he regularly briefed Ms Waiguru on activities at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), said she was also aware that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Anti-Banking Fraud Unit had started investigating the loss by the time she gave directive for an internal report.

It also emerged Tuesday that fund’s former Board Chairman Bruce Odhiambo and Ms Namuye forged board resolutions that were presented to Chase Bank for the bank to make Ms Namuye the single signatory to the fund’s account.

PIC Vice Chairman Kimani Ichung’wa wondered how the two authored a letter authorising one of them to be the sole signatory since they were interested parties.

FORGED SIGNATURE

Dr Mangiti said he attended a board meeting at the fund where he asked Ms Namuye whether she was aware of two letters to the bank bearing her signature, instructing Chase Bank to transfer Sh180 million to Quorandrum Ltd for alleged consultancy services, to which she denied knowledge.

The former PS said that the letters were tabled by the chairman of the board’s audit committee, Mr Nicholas Mwaniki, during a special board meeting.

He said that before the meeting he was not aware there were suspicious transactions that would have led to loss of public funds.

“I telephoned the board chairman asking him when the next board meeting would be because I wanted to attend in person to get briefed on fund decision to give hatcheries as part of its corporate social responsibility programme which I thought was unprocedural,” he said.

During the meeting, it was decided that the matter be reported to all investigating agencies so that it could be established whether the payments to Quorandrum Ltd were a “prank, fraud or attempted fraud”.

Funyula MP Paul Otuoma asked Mr Mangiti whether the letter written to the bank on change of signatories was a forgery since it had been signed by Mr Odhiambo and Ms Namuye and yet was not part of the board resolution. He answered in the affirmative.

THEFT OF CASH

The former PS also told the committee, which has since interviewed a number of key individuals thought to have played a part in the theft of the cash, that Mr Odhiambo declined to write to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), forcing him to write to personally write to them inviting them to investigate the matter.

Earlier, the State Corporations Advisory Council’s Head of Governance and Management Services, Mr Simon Indimuli, said the youth fund board broke all the regulations in opening and running the account at Chase Bank.

He said the opening and running of the account was done without the authority of the National Treasury as provided for in law.