Judy Akuma @PeopleDailyKe
The Public service, Youth and Gender Affairs ministry has denied losing Sh8 billion in fraudulent payments to non-existent firms.
The ministry said only 13 vouchers totalling Sh121 million, and which are under investigations by a multi-agency team led by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), were paid.
In a brief prepared by Principal secretary Lilian Mbogo-Omollo to Cabinet secretary Prof Margaret Kobia, the state department says it has forwarded to the DCI vouchers amounting to Sh900 million and not the Sh8 billion touted by National Intelligence Service (NIS) director general Major General Philip Wachira.
The PS said only Sh121 million out of the Sh900 million is yet to be reconciled and whose documents have been surrendered to the agencies for tabulation.
Last Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta met Kobia where he demanded answers on an intelligence brief to the effect that the youth programme had lost billions of shillings.
“Following your meeting with His Excellency the President on 10th may, 2018 and our subsequent debriefing, I wish to update you as follows; the State department continues to comply with requests from DCI for submission of documents and recording of statements by officers,” Omollo states.
“All the vouchers submitted for investigations to the DCI amount to Sh900 million. This is not even remotely close to the Sh8 billion figure the Director General, NIS is claiming lost/stolen/fraudulent,” she adds. Police and anti-graft agency opened separate investigations at NYS following fresh claims of fraudulent payments involving pending bills.
Officers from the DCI who commenced a probe about six months ago are combing through payments made to suppliers in the last six years. In the 2016/17 financial year, the state department of public service and youth received Sh22.2 billion and Sh17.9 billion in the 2017/18 period.
Of this, NYS suppliers were paid Sh6.2 billion in the 2016/17 period while Sh2.6 billion was paid in the 2017/18 period. In the 2016/17 period, there were Sh3.6 billion that were unpayable and Sh2.3 billion were unpayable in the 2017/18.
At the same time, there were 1,401 suppliers in the 2016/17 period as opposed to 421 in the 2017/18 period. Investigators want to establish if there are any case of collusion between suppliers and public officers that may have led to theft of money in fictitious claims involving billions of shillings.