By Chris Maina.
Bruce Odhiambo replaced the flamboyant Gor Semelang’o at the Youth Enterprise Fund and has basically run down the institution. Gor Semelang’o may have run afoul of the new regime, being a Kibaki analogue ‘youth’, but those who worked under him praise him for giving the fund visibility and, actually, empowering youths.
Youth Fund, for starters, is among the big money institutions which was conceptualised to shore up youth employment in Kenya. Like many big grand coalition government ideas, the fund is today a cesspool of sexual relationships and youth corruption. The corruption therein stinks to high heavens.
Atop this abyss is Bruce Odhiambo. who is not only partaking of it but, to a larger extent, has engineered the downfall of both the Fund and the National Youth Council, which, under him, is as toothless and inconsequential as it can get. Bruce, according to our sources, intimidates the fund’s employees and, typical of Luos in government, has been sacking one Luo after the other.
Some employees in the procurement department have resigned voluntarily, rather than wire taxpayers money on fictitious requisitions. The Fund is broke.
The National Youth Council, an oversight to the Fund, is today filled with overnight millionaires some who’ve made the kind of money that has convinced them the next big challenge in life is to enter the national assembly – Kenya’s house of the condescendingly corrupt. Other elements in the NYC are wives, concubines and squeezes of politicians. NYC is the very definition of a brothel.
Bruce is corrupt. This is an understatement considering under him, sh180 million was pilfered from the Fund which saw his sidekick, Catherine Namuye, ‘sacked’. Despite the lady repeatedly saying she got orders from Odhiambo, who made her a single signatory to the Youth Fund account in a move that pundits smelled sex and kisses, Namuye has now been condemned to oblivion while Odhiambo – for his close links to state house – remain viable at the Fund.
Picture this. Bruce introduced a voodoo concept of youth empowerment referred to as ‘after 10 minutes’ where him and his groupies organize ’empowerment’ events to teach youths how to invest or grow business ‘in 10 minutes’ after which they earn millions of shillings from staging such events.
This type of rip-off is among the scandalous ways Devolution Ministry under former CS Anne Waiguru siphoned money from taxpayers. Remember, a ’10 minute’ appearance of President Uhuru in a KIbera forum in 2014 cost taxpayers sh50 million in ‘events organizing and management’.
President Uhuru, to be fair, may not be aware. Or, for a man not known to fire the corrupt around him, especially if they also double as his ‘drinking buddies’, he may just be turning the other eye. People have accused the sloshed St. Mary’s School groupies around Uhuru for taking corruption to higher levels.
It is estimated that under Bruce Odhiambo, the Youth Fund has lost close to sh1 billion, embezzled in fictitious tenderpreneuring and, sometimes, open theft.
In fact, sources within the fund told this writer Bruce is sitting atop the new CS, Ms Cicely Kariuki, who has no power to effect any real change in the institution. For instance, a Mr Wamae, adversely mentioned in the NYS scandal, still sits as board member of the youth fund, despite the corruption scams surrounding him.