Confusion as Ksh 115M youth fund paid to “dead” American national

Confusion as Ksh 115M youth fund paid to “dead” American national

More than 100 million shillings was paid to a shadowy American national for an ICT project that was never delivered to the Youth Enterprise Fund. MPs probing the loss of 180 million shillings at the fund were told that two multi-million shilling contracts were awarded through single sourcing against public procurement regulations.

Questions have now emerged over the role of senior Devolution Ministry officials in the scam.

Managing Director of Quorandum Company Limited Mukuria Ngamau, appearing for fellow directors – his wife Doreen Waithera Nganga and mother Tabitha Wanjiru Ngamau, who, however, ceased ownership in 2008, told the Parliamentary Investments Committee (PIC) that he indeed executed the payment.

For the legislators, the thorn in the flesh, is what the money was paid for.

Documents show that Quorandam Limited was to provide consultancy services for an ICT strategy design within a period of seven weeks. The strategy would cost the youth fund 65.9 million shillings.

In a different contract signed on the same day, the 17th of November 2014, Ngamau’s company was to provide consultancy on design of specifications for software to manage operations of the fund at a cost of 114.9 million shillings.

Ngamau told Parliament he secured the tender, which was not advertised, through direct conversations with the fund’s then Chief Executive Officer Catherine Namuye.

But the MPs were stunned by Ngamau’s claims that he paid a whopping 115 million shillings to an American he has never seen or met for some of the work. Ngamau said he paid the American he identified as Donnie Collins Reeves through his Chase Bank account; but when the MPs searched his name online, it returned an obituary of an American who died at the age of 61 years.

There are no records to show that the board met and approved the payments. Just last week, the youth fund board chair Bruce Odhiambo admitted to unilaterally appointing the suspended CEO as a sole signatory to its bank accounts, authority that enabled her to sign off the 180 million shillings payment.

Documents further show that former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and Principal Secretary Eng. Peter Mangiti were copied in letters suspending the fund’s top officials. It is not clear whether the two, who have been at the centre of the National Youth Service mega scam, took any action to investigate the officials.

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