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Agencies close in on Sh9b NYS scam suspects

Mercy Mwai and Seth Onyango @PeopleDailyKe

Two Cabinet secretaries and eight Principal secretaries are among 24—serving and former—senior government officials facing imminent arrest in connection with various graft scandals.

Also on detectives’ radar are five former CSs and 10 former PSs, who could be charged as early as this week.

The development came on a day the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) submitted 10 files to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions on probe of the Sh9 billion scam at the National Youth Service (NYS). 

DPP Noordin Haji in his Twitter handle confirmed he had received the inquiry files No. 51 of 2008 to 60 of 2018 sent by DCI director George Kinoti.

“A team of experienced prosecutors led by the DPP is currently undertaking a final review of the files,” read the post by the DPP.

Haji assured the public that appropriate directions based on analysis of evidence and the law will be issued. The move signals a strong possibility of arrests and prosecution of suspects who have been interrogated by the DCI in the past week.

It is understood that Haji, Kinoti, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) chief executive Halakhe Waqo, and Attorney General Paul Kihara have been meeting to review statements recorded by suspects linked to the latest NYS scandal.

Meanwhile, targeted CSs and PSs were involved in the first NYS saga where Sh791 million was lost and a scandal where Kenya Power Company managers are said to have inflated consumer bills.

Others include Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) and National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). The latter reportedly paid Sh1.05 billion to 18 maize merchants.

Sources at Mazingira House, which houses DCI, intimated to People Daily that several arrests of those linked to the scam had already began last evening as detectives had already zeroed in on key suspects. Yesterday, sleuths exuded confidence they have watertight cases against the masterminds of the new multibillion shillings scandals.

The People Daily also learnt that President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered investigative and prosecutorial agencies to revive all corruption cases. The move could see former CSs and PSs, whose cases were dismissed for lack of evidence, revived.

“In some of these cases, the evidence is straightforward and we expect Kenyans this time around to get justice,” said our source who sought anonymity.

Both Kinoti and National Intelligence Service (NIS) director-general Philip Kameru, have been tasked with briefing the President on the progress of the graft probe on a daily basis.

Uhuru, keen on securing a stellar legacy, is said to be frustrated with runaway corruption, which he says is an impediment to his ‘Big Four’ agenda.

Already, Youth Principal secretary Lilian Mbogo Omollo and NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai have stepped aside for three months to allow investigators conclude probe. And yesterday, some Jubilee Members of Parliament put commercial banks on the spot for allegedly abetting graft.

The legislators, who were accompanying Deputy President William Ruto for a service at St Peters Catholic Church in Lanet, Nakuru county, demanded that the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) commence investigations into the financial institutions.

They included Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Daniel Tuitoek (Mogotio), Charity Kathambi (Njoro), Lemanken Aramat (Narok East), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) and Nakuru Women’s Representative Liza Chelule.

They wondered how abnormally large amounts of money were deposited or withdrawn from an individual’s account without the banks asking hard questions. Ruto said the government would not allow progress made in the last five years to go down the drain because of a few individuals.

“The corrupt should not run to their communities or political parties for protection. We will not sacrifice the progress of Kenya to satisfy the greed of few individuals. This time around they will not get off the hook. They will be held accountable,” he said.

Ichung’wa said there were efforts by some cartels to intimidate MPs.

“A thief is a thief. Whether in government or in opposition. Whether big or small. The National Assembly shall not be cowed by cartels and merchants of deceit. It will continue to hold those in power accountable,” he said.

Gikaria said commercial banks found to be embedded and aiding corruption should have their licenses cancelled.

Senator Kihika said it was difficult for businesses to transact in huge amounts without being asked questions.

“It is time serious, swift action was taken against these thieves. This time around it won’t be business as usual,” she said.

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