Conflicting details on Youth Fund spending emerge as Chase Bank appears before MPs

Conflicting details on Youth Fund spending emerge as Chase Bank appears before MPs

The Youth Fund officials and a private firm awarded a Ksh 180 million tender falsified documents to facilitate the irregular payment of millions of shillings to the company. Top officials of Chase Bank said they demanded an explanation before making the payment and were supplied with documents that, however, contradict those already tabled before Parliament’s Public Investments Committee.

The hearing revealed a meticulous scheme by Youth Fund officials to have money released to Quarandum, the company that was awarded a fictitious tender worth 180 million shillings

Officials set the ball rolling for the grand scheme on the 11th of February 2015 when the then acting Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Fund Catherine Akelo Namuye solely instructed Chase Bank to pay Quorandum Limited a total of 115 million shillings. The bank declined to pay, cautious that Namuye’s sole signature could not be honored.

Nine days later, the bank received a joint letter from Namuye and Youth Fund Chair Bruce Odhiambo okaying a sole signatory of the acting CEO.

While the bank eventually paid the money to Quorandum Limited, officials say they were suspicious and, therefore, froze Quorandum’s account until documentary evidence of invoices and contractual agreement were provided.

When he appeared before the Public Investments Committee, the Managing Director of Quorandum Limited tabled documents showing a contract to develop an ICT strategy as well as an integrated system to manage operations of the Youth Fund.

However, those documents are completely different from what Chase Bank tabled before the PIC. In those documents, the Youth Fund and Muriuki Ngamau’s company had agreed to develop a national ICT strategy and policy that would cost 37.1 million shillings, a contract that was signed on 15th May 2014.

Three months later, a similar contract in wording was signed with Quorandum Limited undertaking to provide consultancy services for a national ICT strategy and policy, but this time at a cost of 91.1 million shillings. The two contracts totaling to Ksh 128,284,400.

In April, the bank received further instructions to pay 64.6 million shillings which based on the caution earlier taken were honored.

The Quarandum Limited Managing Director Muriuki Ngamau’s submissions contradict what was presented by the bank officials. Just last week, he told the committee that he had paid 115 million shillings to an American consultant who was involved in the Youth Fund ICT project.

However, according to the bank officials there was never such a transaction.

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