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Nacada row takes fresh twist as Jaguar threatens to resign

Internal wrangles rocking the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) escalated yesterday after a member of the board, music celebrity Charles Njagua, popularly known as Jaguar, threatened to resign.

The singer issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Interior Cabinet secretary Maj Gen Joseph Nkaissery (rtd) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro to investigate and prosecute the top management of the body over alleged massive corruption.

Jaguar, who was appointed to the Nacada board by President Uhuru Kenyatta in May, called a surprise press briefing where he claimed the level of disregard for the law and “daylight robbery” of public funds by both the top management and the finance committee of the Nacada board is worrying.

He claimed more than Sh500 million had been withdrawn from Nacada accounts without the board’s approval as he also alleged the contracting of Ernest & Young to disburse funds to civil society groups was in total disregard to the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) advisory.

“Within the short period I have served Nacada, I have noticed some irregularities including disregard of the recommendations by the PPOA and the board finance committee,” he said, adding: “If the Cabinet secretary for Interior, EACC and CID director won’t do anything to prevent the loss of public funds by corrupt officials at Nacada within the next two weeks, I will have no other option but resign.”

And in a quick rejoinder, Nacada chairman John Mututho, who has been at loggerheads with the board, supported Jaguar’s allegations.

Mututho claimed the massive corruption in Nacada started in 2011, adding that he had already written to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the DCI requesting them to take action on mismanagement at the agency.

He said EACC had confirmed opening a file on Nacada, while the DCI said investigations have been opened. “Jaguar’s allegations are true. I urge him not to resign. Resigning is a defeatist approach. If I were to quit, I would have a long time ago,” said Mututho.

He claimed the forces that hounded former Nacada boss Jeniffer Kimani out office are behind the current woes facing the agency, saying some board members have been frustrating him. Mututho, who is set to meet Nkaissery today, said he will name all the directors behind the current problems at Nacada.

He also accused some board members of even doctoring minutes to shield corruption. “There is massive corruption in Nacada, this is not something new. The fight against corruption started a long time.”

The PPOA report that Jaguar quoted from revealed that there was no Purchase Requisition for consultancy by the user department (Nacada), and that the evaluation report of the tender ranked PriceWaterhouseCoopers first, scoring 97 out of 100 marks.

Ernst & Young, which was later awarded the tender for disbursement of the Sh99 million, had scored 69. The two firms were later recommended by the evaluation committee for financial evaluation on the basis of “Best Fit”, something which the procurement body termed misleading. Ernst & Young was later awarded the Sh17 million tender.

According to a letter sent by the NGOs Coordination Board, to Mututho and copied to Interior Principal Secretary, out of the 119 organisations funded by Nacada, only 14 registered by the board have accurately disclosed funds received totaling Sh13,933,175.

Two of the NGOs, Coast Rural Development and Community of Mercy Development Organisation which received Sh745,500 have since been de-registered. The report further states that the Coordination Board cannot establish the legality of 86 organisations funded by Nacada.

According to an audit report seen by People Daily, some unregistered NGOs have been receiving millions meant for advocacy against alcohol and drug abuse. Jaguar’s resignation threat comes just a few days after Mututho’s suspension of six senior officials was reversed by the board.

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