"By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America," he said. "I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that events that if some of my judgments were wrong -- and some were wrong -- they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interests of the nation." - President Richard Nixon while resigning the presidency on 8 August 1974.
That is the statement that I had hoped the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Ann Waiguru was going to read to the nation on Friday, September 11, 2015 when she called a press conference on the much talked about National Youth Service scandal.
Richard Milhous Nixon former US President perhaps remains the highest flying personality in history to have fallen from grace to grass for lying having won the presidency over Hubert Humphrey in 1968. In 1972, Nixon was reelected in one of the largest landslides in American political history, taking more than 60 percent of the vote and crushing the Democratic nominee, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota.
But it is the burglary of offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex and the subsequent cover-up that led to the thunderous fall of President Richard Nixon. Proceeding that in November 17, 1973 Nixon had declared, “I’m not a crook.” This is almost the same statement we heard from CS Waiguru, ‘no money has been lost’ when the fraud was first reported.
In her Friday statement two things came out: one, her admission that indeed Sh791 million had been stolen. This is almost exactly the same amount that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had quoted as having been stolen through the now much besmirched Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS). Two the very man who blew the whistle on the scam, NYS Deputy Director General Adan Harakhe, and who is also AIE (Authority to Incur Expenditure) holder had his name listed alongside those of 20 others as one of the suspects. Question, If in the first instance Ann Waiguru denied money had been, lost and that she had taken corrective measures to stop the theft by subsequently writing to the Directorate of Criminal investigation (DCI) on June 5, 2015 after detection and report made by Deputy Director General Adan Harakhe, how then can we now believe it is only Sh791 million that has been lost and not Sh67 billion as being rumored from other quarters? How come the two most prominent people Madam Waiguru’s and former AIE holder, NYS Director General Nelson Githinji have their names totally missing in the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) report, yet the rot started long before Adan Harakhe was appointed to the same position in march 2015? It is good to note that current CS Waiguru was the Director of the System at the treasury some time back. It is mind boggling; the whistle blower has become the suspect!
Coming out as she did, CS Ann Waiguru did not only lie, but also took credit for what she did not do given that the magnitude of the same came to light after the appointment of the new AIE (Authority to Incur Expenditure) holder, yet the same had been going on under her watch since 2014. Had it not been the current AIE holder raising concern of the attempted theft of Sh695 million that subsequently led to the investigations, the cartel would have continued to rake in billions from the system without much ado.
CS Waiguru must not be allowed to get away with this. Former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams' war story tall tale that eventually cost him his job, a freshly signed five-year, $50 million contract. Like Brian and Richard Nixckon , CS Waiguru has the feeling that the general public will not find out since the public have faulty memory thus using deception to discredit others while attempting to make themselves look better. Brian Williams was "taking credit" for risking life and limb on a helicopter in a war zone. He paid for the lie. Raila Odinga in the days that followed the NYS revelation even went ahead to personally call a press conference to assert his claim that the list that President Uhuru Kenyatta had presented to Parliament from the EACC on corrupt individuals was doctored, and that one of the top most names that was deleted from the list was of madam Waiguru herself! To the Jubilee supporters, the CS was being fought by the opposition, for doing what the opposition was not able to do while they were in power.
It is in this light that ODM legislator, Opiyo Wandayi was thrown out during the parliamentary grilling of the CS Waiguru. Then a group of Mt. Kenya MPs forced their way into the room for what they called ‘solidarity’ and this made her come out as heroine.She maintained no money was stolen and that the whole IFMIS was a seven-step thing and that the looters were only in the first step. Using that line of argument she believed Cane cutter would not fathom anything beyond that. Question to CS Waiguru is, if the product you’re selling is so good, why do you need the fudged figures, the half-truths and outright lies as you gave us in the beginning? For as experts have warned, we might be talking of billions lost.
If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it's probably a duck. Having worked with and for a politician most of her professional life Ann Waiguru has developed a thick skin for criticism just like the politicians who support her. In her quest to stay put, she seems to have joined a group of narcissists in the government. The constellation of narcissistic attributes of politicians as written by Jim Taylor in the psychology today, exhibited by most Jubilee politicians and even government operatives has made them believe that they are right and, even if they are not, they're too smart to be caught or suffer the consequences.
By peddling the names of junior officers as the main suspects the CS for Devolution knows that she might just get away with it. As Taylor further posits that Politicians know their followers will believe them, even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Politicians and their adherents live in an echo chamber in which everyone watches the same news channel, listens to the same talk radio, reads the same newspapers and web sites, and hangs out with the same like-minded people. There exists an impermeable membrane that prevents conflicting information from entering. The content of the lies is red meat for the politicians' ravenous base that is only too happy to chew on it for days on end.
CS Waiguru too is playing in this league with the matter of NYS. Unfortunately for her that lie she hoped to have churned out to be true is back to haunt her. As many have said before ‘The Internet never forgets.’ One of the unintended consequences of the Internet is that information, true or not, lives on forever and it is likely to continue to be believed even in the face of contradictory evidence as Taylor wrote. Thanks to the internet ,even when the main stream media may not press her to resign, we the hoi polloi can dig up from the archives the speech the CS read to us when NYS scam had started seeping to the public domain.
The possible solutions to this saga, CS Ann Waiguru must be made to resign and account for the omission and commission during the time billions meant for the youth were stolen. The government must with a matter of urgency arrest those who stole the Sh791 million and recover the money
If indeed President Uhuru Kenyatta is serious with his fight against graft, he must not only relieve CS Waiguru of her duties, but also disown her for lying to him since the time she told the country that no money had been lost, I believe she briefed the President too and assured him that no money had been lost. To the President, if a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked and so it’s time the president should send all rogue officers home.
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