Almost daily for the past fortnight Kenyans have been treated to a steady litany of reports of theft from public coffers, corruption on an unprecedented scale and abuse of public office centering around the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and the National Youth Service.
The Auditor General revealed this week that the Ministry acquired a Billion shillings worth of assets without supporting documents. Treating one of the biggest spending Ministries as if it is a â€œcorner-dukaâ€ is not good enough. The Auditor General further raised questions about the manner in which major tenders were awarded by the National Youth Service (NYS).
However, what is most alarming to me and Kenyans at large is information that has come to light more recently in the form of documentation that I have here in my hands. These documents establish the following:
Integrated Financial Management Information Systems
1. On the 26th of March, 2015 President Kenyatta tabled before parliament a confidential unredacted and incomplete report by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Committee (EACC) dated 20th March, 2015 into the ongoing investigations being carried out by the EACC. This was initially a spectacular move that saw a number of senior officials step aside while their cases were being investigated.
2. On the 21st of March 2015, the EACC wrote to the Treasury seeking all documentation regarding provision of consultancy services for re-engineering of the Oracle Database application. The contract between the then Office of the Deputy PM and Minister of Finance, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Copy Cat Ltd had been signed in July 2011. The initial Local Service Order for KSh.45,970,800 on 11-08-11 was signed for by the acting head of IFMIS, Anne Waiguru. The third quarterly payment to Copy Cat was signed off by the same officer on 26-04-12 to the tune of KSh.11,492,700.3. The contract between the then Office of the Deputy PM and Minister of Finance, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Copy Cat Ltd regarding IFMIS was signed on 29-02-12
4. On 21-04-15 the EACC wrote to the Ministry of Finance seeking documentation to assist with its ongoing investigation into the provision of consultancy services vis-Ã -vis the Oracle database. The subsequently provided documents reveal that the Director of IFMIS on 09-05-12 authorized a renewal of Oracle support licenses for a year at a cost of Ksh.54,943,483.
5. On 17-05-12 she authorized payment for the provision of consultancy services supporting IFMIS to the tune of KSh.55,302,615. A fortnight later on 29-05-15 she authorized a payment of KSh.331,387,296 for the â€˜purchase of Oracle hardware for upgrade of the IFMIS serversâ€™.
6. On 06/02/15 she authorized a payment of KSh.137,219,640 being 20 percent of the total contract sum for rollout of â€˜Ministry of Devolution and Planningâ€™s training and 10 percent of final payment of the IFMISâ€™ to the same ministry.
7. On May 7, 2015 the Principal Secretary at the Treasury approved a request for an additional KSh.4 billion to the NYS under the 2014/5 supplementary estimates. The letter noted, however: â€œGoing forward, we wish to reiterate that it is a violation of the Public Finance Management Act, Section 197(I)(h) which states that â€œit is an offense of financial misconduct if, without lawful authority, an officer incurs expenditure or makes commitment on behalf of the Government or entityâ€ since this results in pending bill.â€In actual fact the Devolution Cabinet Secretary had requested over KSh.5 billion and the breakdown is attached.
1. If IFMIS was being investigated by the EACC for the inflation of contracts to the tune of KSh.1 billion,why didnâ€™t the Cabinet Secretary at the time of the suspicious transactions â€“ Anne Waiguru â€“ step aside like her colleagues such as Principal Secretary Michael Kamau of the Ministry of Roads?
2. Was it incompetence, greed or something else that caused the Cabinet Secretary to underestimate her budget by KSh.5 Billion?
3. Why did the Cabinet Secretary ignore the warnings by the Acting Director of Budget and Principal Secretary Treasury dated 07-05-15 and 29-04-15?
4. Did the Minister of Finance (now President) and his Permanent Secretary (now Chief of Staff) know and when did they learn of it given the rate at which money was literally speeding out of the government under their noses?
5. Most importantly, Kenyaâ€™s experience with IFMIS demonstrates the mess our public finances are in and thus the need for an audit. The saga has also demonstrated that you canâ€™t digitize integrity with a silver bullet computer programme that itself becomes an opportunity to rip off the public.
Most important however is the game of favorites being played with the war on corruption. According to this EACC report, except in a couple of cases where entire committees were under investigation, there are only two cases without a named suspect: One is Case No.15, regarding allegations against the National Treasury which was reported to the EACC on 18-11-14 regarding alleged irregularities in the re-engineering of Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) which runs on an Oracle platform, inflated consultancies and disregard for procurement procedures. The acting director of IFMIS at the time of the alleged crimes was the current Devolution Cabinet Secretary â€“ Anne Waiguru.
Before case number 15. Mr Teko, Jeremiah Matoke, Mrs Mary Musoma and Mr Omutia are all mentioned by name in cases 13 and 14 as in all the other cases.
The second is Case No. 20 involving the IIEC, the latter day IEBC. The court in London named specific officials of the IIEC some of whom are still officials of the IEBC and named the specific crimes they committed which has led to the jailing of their partners in crime in the UK. In the list presented to Parliament, EACC claims not to know the IEBC officials and makes no mention of the monies involved.
Before case number 20, Mr James Oswago, Wison Shollei, Edward Karisa and Willie Kamanga are mentioned by names in regard to tenders for Electronic Voter Identification Devices.
Yet the London court categorically mentioned IEBC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan, Energy secretary Davis Chirchir, James Oswago, Gladys Boss Shollei, Kennedy Nyaundi and Kenneth Karani in what has been termed â€œChicken-gate.â€ They were accused of receiving up to Â£349,057.39 (over Sh50 million) in bribes for tenders. Your guess is as good as mine on why the IEBC officials have to be protected. They delivered for Jubilee.
Bottom line? We will not take the President seriously on the war on corruption until all thieves are treated equally. The law must apply on scandals over IFMIS, NYS and IEBC in the same way in the same way it has happened at Roads and other ministries.
– Read it at Raila Odinga websiteÂ