25 September 2023

KENYA: PS officers in court over theft

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A number of Kenyan Public Servants have been brought into court in handcuffs to hear charges against them amid an investigation into the theft of billions of shillings in public funds from the Government’s National Youth Service (NYS).

The suspects, who included Principle Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Lillian Mbogo-Omollo (pictured), pleaded not guilty to the stealing charges before Magistrate, Douglas Ogoti.

Chief Prosecutor, Noordin Mohamed Haji said 54 people, 40 of them Government officials, would eventually face charges on counts including abuse of office and conspiracy to commit an economic crime.

“Some of those charged remain at large,” Mr Haji said.

“The police are looking for them.”

The NYS is the State Agency that trains young people and deploys them to projects ranging from construction to traffic control.

Mr Haji said the investigation by his office and the police revealed that funds were stolen through fictitious invoices for goods such as firewood and stationery and multiple payments on one supplier invoice.

“Investigations reveal that there was no procurement whatsoever,” he said.

The next stage of the investigation will target the alleged role of banks in facilitating illicit cash transfers.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee had earlier questioned Ms Mbogo-Omollo about the alleged loss of KES10.5 billion (A$1.4 million).

Ms Mbogo-Omollo, who, together with Director-General of the NYS, Richard Ndubai, stepped aside to allow investigations into the procurement scam, denied any loss of money, arguing that her claims are substantiated by a report by the Auditor-General released last month.

She maintained that her stepping aside did not mean she was guilty, and the allegations being made existed even before she assumed the office.

Nairobi, 30 May 2018

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