Controller of Budget reveals WhatsApp messages being forced to transfer Ksh.15B before elections
Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang'o says she was put under duress to sign out Ksh.15 billion days to the 2022 General Election.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Public Petitions Committee on Tuesday, Nyakang’o said she was threatened to approve Ksh.6 billion for buying Telcos and Ksh.9.5 billion from the annuity fund a few days to the August 9 polls.
The budget controller produced what she alleged was a conversation between her and former Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
The committee was told that on August 4, 2022, the person identified as CS Yatani wrote to Nyakang'o at 2:13 pm, saying “Good Afternoon, please also facilitate similar approvals for infrastructure ministry for amounts of Ksgs8B (sic) and Ksh.2.B.”
One hour and 20 minutes later, at 3:33 pm: the person is said to have sent her a photo and wrote “Please help us expedite this.”
In a subsequent email sent a minute after that, she received another message saying: “H.E might even call you if we don’t deal with this by 4 pm.
To which Margaret says she replied: “Are you saying we have 26 minutes to complete the process?”
The document of the purported conversation then shows the person writing: “He’s just called and I assured that I have spoken to you and that you promised by the end of the day.”
He allegedly followed up at 3:37 pm, saying: “I know he will call you again. He persuaded some guys to resume work and promised that their bill be settled by today.”
Margaret then purportedly said “The timing requires up to tomorrow as I am still out of office,” and in a message said to have been sent at 3:39 pm,Yatani reportedly told the budget controller: “You need to devise how to deal with it. I am sorry but try.”
Asked why she could not say ‘No’ to the alleged coercion, Nyakang’o told the committee “it is not a black-and-white, yes-and-no” situation.
“There are very many things that we have to weigh before you arrive at that decision. But what I am saying is that there are loopholes that need to be assessed and my office needs to be protected,” she said.
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