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CS: We have no report on alleged loss of NYS Sh9b

By Michael Chepkwony | Published Fri, May 18th 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 17th 2018 at 21:50 GMT +3
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia at a past function. She denied knowledge of the NYS scandal. [File, Standard]

A Cabinet secretary yesterday told MPs she had no official information from investigative agencies about the alleged loss of Sh9 billion at the National Youth Service (NYS).

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia (pictured) said there was no report from investigators or the multi-agency team tasked with investigating the matter.

“I have not received any report regarding money loss but we have read in the media (of) some non-existent companies receiving money. We have none from investigators and the multi-agency team,” Prof Kobia told the National Assembly Labour and Social Welfare committee.

She said internal and external auditors had not raised the red flag over the matter, adding that she needed an authority rather than the media to communicate to her office. However, the CS said she had suspended payments of all pending bills until investigations were concluded.

Kobia added that she had received a letter from Public Service Principal Secretary Lillian Mbogo-Omolo indicating the money lost amounted to Sh900 million and not Sh9 billion.

The scandal is suspected to have involved payment of pending bills and the multi-agency team of investigators is seeking to establish the role of the Transport ministry in the process.

“PS (Mbogo-Omolo) wrote to me that total vouchers given for investigations to DCI (Department of Criminal Investigations) amounted to Sh900 million.”

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The CS, who was accompanied by her team including Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh, defended the PS for not appearing before the committee, saying she had taken two days off.

The committee questioned the criteria used to select the vouchers for investigations, saying it might conceal the alleged fraud. Kobia said they provided what the investigators asked for.

“When DCI came, his request letter detailed what he wanted. Otherwise, we have thousands of vouchers with us," she said.

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