Kiunjuri, PS Hamadi Boga and NCPB MD Albin Sang are set to be investigated over claims that the ministry spent Sh1.8 billion irregularly.
The money was withdrawn from the accounts of the Strategic Food Reserve Trust fund at Central Bank and paid to a private company as pending bill.
The matter is being investigated by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. It has emerged, officials Agriculture ministry authorised the payment without prior approval of the oversight board and contrary to the Public Finance Management Regulations of 2015.
At the centre of the storm is a Mombasa-based company Commodity House Limited. The firm is operated by Mombasa tycoon Mohammed Jaffer. Mohammed is close to William
Ruto and is one of his key financiers come 2022 presidential race.
When Jaffer received the said amount on July 1 2019 just few months after the repeat of presidential elections that ODM leader and Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga boycotted, he transferred Sh1.6 billion on July 2 2019, to Hydery Limited and converted the balance of Sh200 million into US dollars. During the said period, Nasa had engaged the government in running battles and the country was witnessing political instability. Word has it, a powerful politician may have ordered the payment capitalising on the crisis.
In Kenya, mega scandals are witnessed and perfected during election time and immediately after the elections as those involved know well disputes have to emerge after the announcement of presidential results.
Those who have recorded statements are chief accounting officer at the state department of crop development Joyce Mutugi and Charles Minjire another top official at the ministry. Word has it that when Uhuru Kenyatta was briefed over the matter by state security machinery, he immediately blacklisted Kiunjuri as he read betrayal and that is why he kept on attacking the CS in public before his recent sacking.
Informed sources reveal, before Uhuru reshuffled the cabinet recently, he held talks with Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji and Directorate of Criminal Investigations’ George Kinoti in Mombasa. It was agreed, the scam be investigated and the culprits involved be arrested as the case is straight forward.
Information your favourite Weekly Citizen investigative team has is that, Kiunjuri, Boga and officials at the Treasury’s Integrated Financial Management Information System, authorised the payment. Implicated are also officers at Central Bank, IFMIS section who allowed such huge payment. The money is feared to have been siphoned out of the country by those involved. Part of the money is said to have been used by Kiunjuri to buy a helicopter from the deputy president.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak has told the president that payment was made within days, money transferred to various suspicious accounts despite the fact, no budget had been worked on by relevant state authorities. Former Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich’s name features prominently.
The Sh2 billion was paid to Commodity House on June 25 from CBK Strategic Bank Reserve Account putting the current CBK governor Patrick Njoroge in the spotlight. CBK security team has been cooperative with EAAC sleuths and availed documents of banks involved in the transaction. What has surprised the investigators is why the local bank used in the transaction allowed such huge transactions within days.
The amount was set aside to supply of maize to the National Cereals Produce Board. Our source says, surprisingly, the multi-billion payment was later reversed on June 28 2019.
Documents show, Sh1.8 billion payment to Commodity House Limited on June 28 2019, from CBK for a pending bill of maize supply to NCPB was credited to a bank in Mombasa.
Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund chair Noah Wekesa at one time raised eyebrows why the state agency had been kept in the dark as payments were made. No paymeny details or even request letters were made to the agency.
In his letter, Wekesa states: “Your disclosure of the payment of Sh1.8 billion from the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund Central Bank Account to Commodity House without the board’s approval was against the law”. It is copied to various state arms including the presidency.
According to the letter, the settlement of additional debts would no doubt deplete the reserve and destabalise the work plan of the Strategic Food Reserve Oversight Board.
Kiunjuri in his defence that annoyed Uhuru said, the Agriculture ministry was only following a presidential directive that all bills be cleared within a month. To play it safe, Kiunjuri in private says the PS should answer the the question on the legality of the withdrawal by virtue of being the ministry accounting officer.
The payment was for a pending bill for maize imported in 2017 and by that time, Commodity House was owed Sh3.6 billion. However, A search at the registrar of companies shows apart from Jaffer other directors are Richard Ethan Ndubai, Stephen Cheruiyot Kositany, Daniel Mburu Wainaina and Reginald Willingston Karanja.
Weekly Citizen has information, the firm’s pending bills were allegedly fictitious.
Other cartels in maize industry are Export Trading Group that was owed Sh480 million in pending bills, Dolphins Grain Importers was then demanding Sh61 million, while the Cereals Millers Association was owed Sh2.6 billion.
Commodity House Limited is accused of dirty games in maize importation and was recently linked to the ban of various flour brands after allegedly bribing senior managers at Kenya Bureau of Standard during last year Christmas holiday to create a crisis, enjoy monopoly and mint millions. The firm used a senior communication manager at KEBS a lady married to the Jaffer family, to facilitate the move with millions exchanging hands
Masinde Muliro varsity new acting VC disapproved – Weekly Citizen
A section of staff at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology is opposed and have dismissed a move by Education cabinet secretary George Magoha to appoint Solomon Shibairo to act for six months as the university’s vice chancellor.
Apart from challenging Magoha to reach at a compromise and have cases filed in court withdrawn as it happened at University of Nairobi where Julia Ojiambo is the chair of the council, they dismissed Shibairo as an outsider whose current duties are wanting.
Shibairo is the deputy vice chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs at Kibabii University. Those who have worked under him say that he cannot manage an institution of the magnitude of Mmust.
There has been concern Mmust current situation of having acting VCs is distabilising the institution academically and rendering its worthiness as a leading institution in the region. The interviews were held to fill the position sometimes back. Then PS Corretta Suda is said to have blocked the appointment and it was part of the reason she was removed from her portfolio. Morris Amutabi had emerged the winner during the interviews. Prof Amutabi served DVC Kisii University and vice chancellor Lukenya University.
Shibairo is third acting VC named within 18 months. In December 2018, then Education CS Amina Mohammed, named Joseph Bosire as acting VC. Bosire was the DVC Academic Affairs at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University in Siaya. He acted for six months and his contract was not extended.
Bosire was replaced in July 2019 by Asenath Sigot as acting VC, courtesy of Magoha, for six months. Sigot tenure was extended for another three months. Two cases are pending at the Labour and Relations Court challenging the process of appointing substantive office holders by the Public Service Commission.
The university has a new council chaired by Jane Mutua. Other members are Stephen Mutoro, Gathu Kiragu, Connie Mogaka and Peter Ogango.They will serve for three years with effect from March 10 2020.
Kenya University Staff Union Mmust chapter chairman Onzere Mulingo is questioning the acting VC syndrome management style at Mmust, claiming it not effective to steer the education of higher learning to its expectations
Graft unearthed at Embu Level Five Hospital shocks – Weekly Citizen
The county assembly of Embu has suspended all the payments to non pharmaceutical supplies and food commodities at the region’s Level Five hospital after discovery that it was ridden with extreme cases of graft.
According to deputy speaker of the county assembly Steve Simba, MCAs discovered a scheme where massive inflation of purchase prices of basic items during the tendering process was factored in.
MCAs want investigations into tender awards that favour certain firms at the behest of the hospital’s head of procurement department.
Runyenjes Central MCA wants Governor Martin Wambora to crack the whip on an officer suspected to be corrupt and replace him immediately. Weekly Citizen has documents showing, the hospital purchased one kilogramme of maize flour at Sh340 when the market price of Sh75. Document folders used for record keeping were tendered at Sh275 when the retail price in local bookshop is Sh30.
MCAs want county treasury boss John Njagi impeached if he fails to submit a list of the county’s verified pending bills as gazetted by the Office of the Auditor General. It has emerged; the assembly’s liaison committee has failed to obtain the list.
Embu county has secretly been paying a number of pending bills which were not verified by the assembly, resulting in some questionable expenditure. A number of the firms paid directors are parting with kickbacks to be considered for payment. The finance department is to submit a list of all pending bills to suppliers, which were not factored in the supplementary budget passed recently for scrutiny before payments.
The assembly has decided to form an ad-hoc committee to probe use of public funds on payment of staff salaries after allocating over Sh2.8billion to personnel emoluments in a supplementary budget.
Of great concern is the Sh1.5 billion salaries and allowances for the health department, staffing levels for all the public health facilities, the entire procurement process for the goods and services for the health docket at Embu Level Five Hospital and other relevant matters.
The county public service board, department of public service, administration and devolution will conduct a physical headcount for the entire staff of the county government with an aim of establishing the actual staff establishment, staff needs and staffing gaps within the next sixty days and submit a report to the assembly.
Another ad-hoc committee is to probe personnel emoluments for the entire county government which swallows Sh1.3 billion in annual budget, excluding the health department, with an aim of establishing the actual staffing, staffing needs and the quality of service delivery to citizens.
Report by county assembly liaison committee on the first supplementary budget for the 2019/2020 financial year reveals that expenditure for the personnel emoluments had continued to increase despite the fact that a number of employees have exited through natural attrition.
Reports from departments reveal that approximately Sh114 million being annual payroll reductions as a result of employees who had exited through natural attrition was reallocated from the personnel emolument to finance other components of the county budget.
Ex-Nandi woman rep fake corona sanitizers – Weekly Citizen
Former Nandi woman representative Zipporah Kering is in trouble after donating hand washing sanitizers to locals that they say are not genuinely meant to fight corona but her political battles.
The ex-woman rep is a director at Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
Kerring said she is focused and determined to complement ministry of Health efforts to fight spread of corona virus pandemic by sanitizers.
Residents read politics after she branded the sanitizers with her image. “As the Kenya ministry of Health under Jubilee government is trying to find more ways of curbing the ongoing widespread of Covid-19, I’m more focused and determined in ensuring all industrial centres, car and motorbike stages and parkings are equipped with sanitizers as one way of maintaining high hygiene,” she said. On one of the brands, the politician wrote: “stay safe beyond corona” followed by her image then her name at the bottom.
To many, Kering who boasts to be close to deputy president William Ruto is using the crisis to rebrand herself politically ahead of 2022.
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