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Waiguru was grilled on Sh1.5b scam, EACC chief tells MPs

KENYA
By Alphonce Shiundu | July 24th 2015

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was grilled by the anti-graft detectives over the controversial Sh1.5 billion procurement of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

"We have interviewed Waiguru as one of the people who have handled IFMIS. We have recorded statements from her and others," Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo yesterday told the National Assembly's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee at Nairobi's Continental House.

Waqo did not say when or where the grilling was done, but most interviews and interrogations of the people in the presidential dossier were done at the commission's headquarters at Integrity Centre in Nairobi.

The IFMIS scandal was reported to the EACC on November 18, 2014, with the complaint being "inflated consultancies and disregard for procurement procedures".

On the dossier submitted to Parliament late March, which Waqo confirmed to MPs that he confidentially handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the allegations were that the "IFMIS re-engineering" project cost Sh1.5 billion, when it should have cost less than Sh500,000.

There was also another project that cost Sh900 million whereas the true value was Sh300 million. The "suspect", according to the EACC dossier, is "procurement director".

Waiguru's ministry is battling a second scandal on an attempt to pay Sh826 million to companies for the supply of foodstuffs, equipment and services to the National Youth Service.

The allegations of procurement irregularities on IFMIS happened between 2011 and 2012 when Waiguru was the director.

Waqo said Waiguru was grilled among others, but not as suspects.

This is the first time that the public has officially been told that Waiguru was actually grilled. It comes within days of renewed onslaught from Opposition leader Raila Odinga to have Waiguru suspended pending investigations.

Raila even alleged that Waiguru's name was one of those that had been left out of the EACC dossier.

Raila's view was that IFMIS deserved a thorough forensic audit to make sure that the Jubilee administration was not using the system to steal public funds.

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"Kenya's experience with IFMIS demonstrates the mess our public finances are in... The saga has also demonstrated that you can't digitise integrity with a silver bullet computer programme that has itself become an opportunity to rip off the public," said Raila in his statement issued a week ago.

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