Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
A powerful watchdog committee has now summoned Public Service Cabinet secretary Margaret Kobia and her Health counterpart Sicily Kariuki to appear on Friday to shed light on the ongoing Sh9 billion probe at the National Youth Serve (NYS).
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Opiyo Wandayi, has also asked suspended Principal secretary Lilian Omollo and former NYS director general Richard Ndubai and other top officials serving in the department of youth to appear before it on the same day to answer questions on the matter.
Kariuki, who preceded Kobia at the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs docket, had replaced Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru who resigned from Cabinet over an earlier scandal touching on NYS.
Speaking yesterday, Wandayi said the committee is fully engaged with the NYS matter and it would ensure it carries out thorough investigations to determine whether there was any loss of funds.
“As a committee, we have resolved to summon the PS Youth, the former director general NYS together with some heads of agencies to appear before us on Friday, May 25. We have also invited the CS responsible for youth and the CS Health, her predecessor,” he said.
Wandayi explained that the decision of the committee to summon the said officials had been arrived at following a letter signed by a Mr Ojiambo from the Department of Youth, which indicated the top State officers could not attend yesterday’s session on grounds that they were unprepared.
According to Wandayi, the letter by Ojiambo was “not only contemptuous but also a move to belittle and block the committee from investigating and concluding with the matter”.
He said the move by the committee to take over the matter was normal routine examination of various government departments touching on the financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16.
The committee made the resolutions after it met Planning Permanent Secretary Julius Muia who had been invited to appear alongside the other top officials from NYS.
During the meeting, the committee declined to listen to him and demanded he appear together with the rest on Friday as 90 per cent of all the audit queries raised by the Auditor General touch on the Department of Youth.