Mystery of 60 secret Kiambu Biashara Fund secret accounts

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu (right) congratulates Karungo wa Thang'wa for taking over as Youth Affairs, Sports and Communication executive early this month. [Kamau Maichuhie, Standard]
Controversy has rocked the Kiambu County Biashara Fund after details emerged that there were 60 secret accounts.

The mobile banking accounts, operated by 60 ward administrators, have been in existence since March last year.

The accounts were opened five months to last year's General Election and each one was credited with Sh500,000, bringing the total to Sh30 million.

Ward administrators were mandated to disburse the money to qualified youths and women for start-ups. 

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According to County Youth and Sports Executive Karungo wa Thang'wa, his department received information about the existence of the secret accounts from an informer and decided to investigate the matter.

Never briefed

Mr Thangw’a said preliminary investigations revealed 60 accounts holding a total of Sh20 million.

He said department officials were shocked by the findings because the county government was never briefed about the existence of the accounts after taking over the county's administration last September.

“Our preliminary investigations show Sh10 million out of the Sh30 million credited to all 60 accounts has been used. We want to find out how the money was used and which people or groups benefited,” said Thang'wa.

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He said the Biashara Fund manager had been asked to explain why he never briefed the county government on the matter.

“He has to explain why he never disclosed the existence of the accounts. We are still waiting for his response."

The Sh30 million revolving fund was created to give youths, women and persons with disability access to affordable financing.

The fund, which was launched in 2015, was one of former Governor William Kabogo's pet projects.

Initially, several banks were given the mandate to disburse the money to individuals or groups that qualified for the loans.

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Youth Affairs, Sports and Communication Chief Officer Penina Kamau has written to the bank where the accounts were opened, suspending any transactions pending investigations into the matter.

“Kindly furnish us with the details of the accounts including their signatories for our further action. In the meantime we instruct you to suspend any withdrawals until otherwise advised in all the 60 liquidation accounts," read the letter.

Governor Ferdinand Waititu has ordered all ward adminstrators to submit detailed reports on how they disbursed the funds, including names of beneficiaries and their contacts.

Kiambu Township and Ndeiya are some of the wards that have exhausted money in their accounts, with less than Sh80, 000 remaining.

Kihara and Ndarugo wards disbursed less than Sh15, 000, leaving balances of Sh489,901 and 481,437 respectively.

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Kiambu CountyBiashara FundCounty Youth and Sports Executive Karungo wa Thang'wa