Waiguru not fit to hold public office, MPs say and call for lifestyle audit

Anne Waiguru

A National Assembly committee has recommended that former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru should be barred from holding public office.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has also recommended a lifestyle audit on Ms Waiguru, former Planning Principal Secretary Joseph Mang'iti and senior Devolution ministry officials named in the National Youth service (NYS) scandal.

"Ms Anne Mumbi Waiguru... barred from holding public office, if found guilty after due process, in light of her overall leadership failures at the ministry," the House team said.

The MPs said the former powerful CS was the driving force behind both policy and operations by micromanaging the implementation of a five-point vision plan.

"The committee also finds that the Principal Secretary, Engineer Peter Oganga Mang'iti, is responsible for the loss of public funds," they said.

PAC said punitive sanctions should be imposed on those found culpable.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen could also find himself in court after he and his law firm were indicted for "abetting money laundering after the law firm transacted large sums of money suspected to have originated from NYS".

"The Director of Public Prosecutions should immediately prefer charges of aiding and abetting money laundering on the partners of the following law firms: MM Gitonga Advocates, Ogola & Mujera Advocates and Sing'oei, Murkomen and Sigei Advocates," said PAC.

Also named for investigation by the report tabled by PAC chairman Nicholas Gumbo is Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge. The committee said he should be investigated "with a view to establishing whether he should be charged with abuse of office for abetting the theft of funds at the Ministry of Devolution and the National Youth Service for failing/refusing to advise the Government on the abnormal payment from the ministry and NYS..."

The committee has been investigating the theft, which occurred when NYS was implementing large-scale reforms. Unscrupulous individuals are said to have taken advantage of the reforms to loot from public coffers through clever schemes that involved the setting up of sham companies, whose only reason for existence was to siphon money from the ministry while delivering ghost services and goods.

Josephine Kabura, who admitted to carrying large sums of money in sacks, was indicted for "outrageously misleading the committee that she highhandedly carried tens of millions of shillings in sacks to pay quarry owners, a claim that the committee found hard to believe.

"She is therefore liable and culpable of lying under oath...," the committee said, adding it had identified "a well-orchestrated scheme" that began with an unjustified increase in the ministry's budget, culminating in the arbitrary appointment of Adan Harakhe to the non-existent position of deputy senior director general.

Mr Harakhe is said to have been at the centre of large transfers of money through the Government's Ifmis system. PAC wants him charged with the attempted theft of Sh695 million and approving payment of Sh12.5 million to Consulting House, a company associated with political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi.

The committee also recommended the investigation of members of the ministerial tender committee with a view to referring the cases to the DPP for appropriate action.