Senior officials suspended as NYS probe gathers pace

George Kebaso and Anthony Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe

Heads continue to roll at the National Youth Service (NYS) after senior officials in the management were suspended over the alleged Sh9 billion theft.

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet secretary, Margaret Kobia yesterday sent all officers from Procurement, Finance and Accounting departments at NYS on compulsory leave.

This came barely three days after the Principal secretary in charge of the NYS, Lilian Mbogo-Omollo and the service’s director-general Richard Ndubai stepped aside to allow for ongoing investigations to be concluded.

And yesterday, Directorate of Criminal Investigations director George Kinoti said detectives have summoned more than 40 people to explain their role in the scandal.

“We have set up a team of top detectives to investigate the NYS scandal which will be seeking to unearth how huge sums of taxpayers’ money could have been stolen from the service,” he told People Daily on phone.

And Kobia in a statement said, “Following the stepping aside of the Principal secretary, Youth and Public Service, and the National Youth Service director-general due to the ongoing investigations at NYS, I hereby direct:

That all officers at NYS in Procurement, Finance and Accounting who are under investigations are to proceed on compulsory leave effective immediately to allow investigators to complete their work.”

State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said Omollo and Ndubai wrote to President Uhuru Kenyatta informing him of their decision to step aside.

“The President also expects any public official directly implicated in the investigations to uphold the code of integrity and ethics to which they are committed and to act accordingly,” he said in a statement.

Intensified investigations, sustained media reporting and pressure from State House could see more officers sent home and even jailed.

And in yesterday’s communication, it was not immediately established whether the officers stepped aside over new evidence or the one currently being investigated. The institution has been losing billions of shillings through unaccounted for payment vouchers.

The officers are implicated in the new Sh9 billion scandal facing the NYS where 36 companies are being investigated for controversial dealings with the institution.

Reports indicate that Omollo, Ndubai and a host of other officials have been summoned for questioning today.

The amount was allegedly siphoned from the institution in the last three years through a well-designed scheme involving senior government officials and ghost suppliers.

The DCI instituted investigations late last year and its findings reveal a trail of public money plunder.

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