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ELECTION 2022

Foul play: Shock of 14 accounts in one bank and rot in FKF books

NATIONAL
By Standard Team | Nov 14th 2021 | 5 min read

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa addressing the media at Lamada Hotel on November 11,  2021, dismissing the Caretaker Committee that was formed by CS Amina Mohamed. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A report investigators hope to use to build a case against Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has lifted the lid on operations at the country's largest sports federation.

The report by the multi-agency team details questionable cash transfers, withdrawals from bank accounts – some way above Central Bank of Kenya limit guidelines - and in several instances by unauthorised individuals.

It also contains details of 14 bank accounts bearing the same names, in the same bank at Thika Road Mall where money was deposited into personal accounts of some officials.

More intriguing to the investigators was the discovery of two accounts that FKF officials had allegedly failed to disclose.

The probe by an Inspection Committee followed an order by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to the Sports Registrar to trigger an investigation in accordance with Article 52 of the Sports Act.

This was on the back of numerous complaints of financial impropriety stretching back to 2019.

According to the report seen by The Sunday Standard, an FKF employee, who is not among the signatories of the federation’s finances, has withdrawn a total of Sh29,502,709.

A huge chunk of the withdrawals ended up in personal accounts of an FKF official, who then distributed the money to a group of people within the football establishment.

For instance, on March 26 this year, the employee, who is not an authorised signatory, withdrew Sh4,703,585 from one of FKF’s accounts at a bank at Thika Road Mall – an amount way above the Central Bank of Kenya’s Sh999,999 at the time.

The inspectors also found what they term as “fictitious transfers" amounting to Sh8.5 million that was then deposited into the personal account of an FKF official between March 4 and May 6 this year.

On March 3, Sh5 million was withdrawn from FKF bank account and indicated as "debt repayment" without indicating who the payee was.

On May 6, Sh1 million was transferred to the official’s name.

According to the report, FKF failed to account for up to Sh513,954,356 between December 18, 2017 and October 13, 2021.

“No accountability documents were provided to the inspection team except for the list of the funds received,” the FKF Probe Report showed.

“The Ministry of Sports has continuously trained sports federations, including FKF, on how to account for government money. Yet to date, they have been taking us round in circles,” CS Amina said.

According to the CS, FKF officials’ insistence that they were only answerable to world football governing body, Fifa, was astounding.

“FKF officials refused to cooperate with the inspectors and chose which documents to hand over, saying they only report to Fifa,” she said when she received the probe report on November 11.

“They have become a law unto themselves. They hide behind Fifa every time they are told to account for millions of money advanced to them by the government, Fifa, CAF and other donors. Details in this report, which was conducted lawfully, demonstrates the level of impunity in this organisation.”

The report says: "As much as FKF refers to the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Sports Act No 25 of 2013, it is not clear in any of their documents whether they actively and realistically recognise the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Sports Act, Sports Registrar Regulations of 2016 and other relevant laws all of which guide sports organisations’ operations.”

It says that despite appraisal on the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act No 33 of 2015, which stipulates the procedures for efficient procurement and disposal of assets, goods and services, the FKF remains averse to the Kenyan law.

“During the committee’s visit to FKF offices, there were no procurement documents provided for verification. On further enquiry, the CEO confirmed that they were not using the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act of 2015."

“Perusal of payment vouchers revealed to the inspection committee that goods and services were bought either in cash even when they were not of low value, or purchased directly from a supplier without competitiveness. Most direct payments related to hiring of conference facilities for purported meetings, which had no supporting documents,” the report says.

FKF has been in the spotlight over its expenditure of Sh244 million granted to the federation for the Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt in 2019.

The service was not procured in accordance with the procurement procedures.

The report also mentions the Sh125 million, which was part of a Sh215 million paid to the now-dissolved British firm WTS Media Group Ltd for the purchase of an outside broadcasting van which has never been delivered.

Yesterday, Mwendwa, who has maintained that FKF books of account are clean, spent the second night in police custody as investigations continue.

He was taken in for questioning by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation on Friday.

By last evening, it was apparent that the FKF president would be spending the weekend behind bars.

Mwendwa, who spent his first night at the Muthaiga Police Station cells, returned to the DCI headquarters yesterday where he recorded further statements with DCI Serious Crimes Unit.

His lawyers, Eric Mutua and Mutula Kilonzo Junior, were at the DCI headquarters but were not allowed to leave with him.

Mutua and Mutula, who addressed the press after meeting Mwendwa, said the DCI officers based their interrogation on a report tabled in the Senate by Sports CS Amina Mohammed on use of monies allocated to FKF.

Mutula Jnr criticised the arrest of Mwendwa, saying the matter had been politicised.

Mutua also poked holes in the figures provided by the CS and insisted that FKF had only received Sh300 million from the government.

He protested the decision by the DCI to detain his client.

He said efforts to have Mwendwa released on police bond had failed after DCI investigators insisted there were many issues that they intend to cover.

Mutua said the Sh500 million whose use is under scrutiny was more than the amount which FKF had received from the government.

“How can they have spent more than what they received?" Mutua posed.

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