In all the NYS scam stories published, publicized and peddled by the mainstream press, blogosphere, professional bloviators, Onyango, Njoki and Wafula, the name Josephine Irungu rings with awe.
She is, in all the NYS scam tales, the businesswoman at the centre of Â a mutli-million ‘fictitious’, ‘fraudulent’, ‘corrupt’, and ‘massive scam’ which the pious CS Anne Waiguru nipped in the bud, only to later claim, indeed, that some sh 694 million was ‘lost’ – the nicely sounding word for ‘stolen’.
There is a convergence in all the stories on this scam that Josphine Irungi fraudulently earned a whooping sh 791 million by just supplying ‘hot air’. But this may not be the case, at least, following secret correspondences between her and the lead investigator of this scam.
Like many Kenyans, I read the stories with awe, and agreed, especially with Standard Newspaper version by-lined by Nzau ya Musau (Sunday, October 11th 2015) that Josephine was soft robber per excellence.Â Nzau’s story, descriptive and conversational, captured my imagination because it sucked the juice out of the NYS scam.
“What is the value of zero? If you want to establish this value, you only need to scrutinise the Sh791,385,000 lost from the National Youth Service funds and you will surprise yourself. You will establish that indeed zero has great value, at least in fraud, and what appears to be a zero-sum game could be quite something else, once the cash is wired into a bank account”.
With that opening paragraph, Nzau set the tempo for what Josephine calls ‘a premeditated phoney narrative’, yarned to ‘create the portrait of a perfect fall guy’ – which is her – to cover for the real culprit – which is not her.
At the crux of Josphine’s distaste for Nzau’s scandalous verbiage, which fits into the script peddled by all the other mainstream media stories, is a question at the very core of journalism: objectivity.
Does the accused, in a story, have a say? How could it be that none of the 22 ‘small fishes’, none of the ‘suppliers’, including people like Josphine, were blacked out from the evolving ‘scam’?
All the media stories, according to Josephine, emanate from ‘deliberate leaking’ of what the so called ‘NYS suspects’, which include officials who worked at the National Youth Service (NYS) and the suppliers -where Josephine belongs – who provided services to the NYS – Â told the investigators.
“They already developed a script to cover up someone. We were just pawns in their game” reveals one of the condemned NYS junior officials.
In all the stories – and I got time to confirm – none gives these ”suspects” the opportunity accorded their ”accusers”, who have all the media space to not only name-drop (mention their names anyhow), but also impinge on their reputations the worst scandalous public images for any business person.
In a letter seen by Kenya Today and addressed to the lead investigator of the NYS scam, Josphine tears down the narrative that she is the quintessential con-woman occupying the hallowed ‘matron of the NYS scam’ as peddled by the press which claims to quote ‘preliminary detailed report’ of the forensic investigations into the NYS scam.
Perhaps, the most egregious revelation in this now forgotten scam, according to Josphine, is that despite being mentioned repeatedly and adversely, neither the journalists writing her alleged involvement in the scam, nor the sleuths purporting to be investigating this scam, have interviewed her, nor taken her statement.
“Having had my name dragged maliciously into a scam of such huge proportions, anyone would have imagined that by now I should have been questioned on the alleged fraudulent Ksh 791 million worth of supplies to NYS. However, I wait fro the moment in vain several months down the line”
She continues, “it is my right to give my side of Â the story. The only reason why in my view, you do not not want to accord me the chance is certainly to lock the truth out and continue implicating the wrong person.”
“For your information, following the protracted and unremitting campaign to frame me as the key NYS scammer (sic) by The Standard, I have severally attempted to reach the key names (journalists) that have serially written about the matter without much success. The persons I have attempted to reach in the Standard include include Mwaniki Muhune, Nzau Musau and Daniel Wesangula. I have every reason to believe that these personalities are hired goons retained to scuttle the truth about the NYS scam and create public confusion in order to obscure the real culprits” reads the letter.
In the letter, Josphine reveals that the forensic investigators refused to take her statement. She also informs the DCI official that the attempt to build a narrative around an alleged ‘conspiracy to defraud the NYS’ is in itself a conspiracy to cover an ‘untold story’.
From multiple sources, this ‘untold story’ is the source of all the events which followed at NYS. It is the ‘abandoned story’ of ‘stolen passwords’ which Ms Waiguru attempted to spin at the initial stages of this scam, but which blew up right in her face, when forensic investigators at the Banking Fraud Unit dismissed as ‘stupid’ the idea that passwords could be stolen by those who held the passwords.
Essentially, the payments committed to several suppliers at NYS, for which it was initially claimed was done fraudulently, was found to have been committed by the same officers who held the passwords. This led to the fizzling from the evolving scam narrative the issue of ‘stolen passwords’.
Josephine maintains that the NYS scam has its real owners, and the people whose names are being methodically thrown to the press are bogeymen and scapegoats.
“Even as I agonize over why why you have kept me away from telling what I know about the legitimacy of the Ksh 791 million LPOs, Kenyans need to know who the real perpetrators of this scam are.”