Genesis of grand corruption was entrenched ate last year with unprecedented sabotaging of the second phase of the Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) by corrupt cartels forcing the National Youth Service for immediate stoppage of all YEP projects two weeks ago rendering them jobless.
Tendering process of NYS is said to have been micromanaged right from the ministry and awards done through single sourcing to shrewd merchants competing with their own firms in a boardroom process.
Some tenders were issued to parallel firms which never participated in bid process and initial tender amount more than doubled by cartels controlling procurement, audit and record departments comprising of close relatives and friends of top NYS and ministry officials.
Financial queries at the embattled NYS are far from over after it emerged the multi-agency investigation team has also narrowed its focus to Sh2.1billion Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) allegedly extended to twenty NYS field stations over and above the Sh8.8billion siphoned through phony companies.
According to a summary of actual expenditure as of March 31, 2018 provided by Youth and Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo, the state department of Public Service and Youth incurred Sh1.5billion and another Sh600million during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 financial years respectively.
The multi-agency team comprising of offices from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) has raised a red flag to the two years expenditure. Lilian said she approved the AIE expenditures to all the twenty NYS field stations a position that insiders have dismissed as untrue.
Through an internal memo to Public Service and Youth Cabinet Secretary Professor Margaret Kobia, Lilian said only sh121million was paid against thirteen vouchers seized by the investigation team and not Sh8billion. However, in a sharp contradiction, a payment breakdown seen by The Informer, the PS asserts that all claims by suppliers, both pending claims from previous management and current bills paid to suppliers’ amount to Sh8.8billion.
Sh6.2billion was paid to suppliers during the 2017-2017 fiscal year and an additional 2.6billion during the last financial year. “Note that the number of suppliers paid refers to all claims, i.e. both pending claims from previous management and current bills accrued by the state department.” The memo reads in part.
For the last two years, total salaries paid to the entire department amounts to Sh3.6billion, Sh6.5 billion to NYS cohorts, Sh8.4 billion to Semi Autonomous Government Agency (SAGAs) and Sh9.9 billion to other expenditures notably National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) for civil servants, Huduma Secretariat, Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) and Directorate of Youth Affairs (DYA).
An additional Sh5.9 billion has been accounted as unpayable claims for the last two years. “The total amount paid against the alleged vouchers is Sh121 million as per statement signed to DCI by the Principal Secretary on 2nd May. Furthermore, all the vouchers submitted for investigations to DCI amount to a total of Sh900million. This is not even remotely close to the Sh8billion figure that the Director, NIS is claiming lost, stolen or fraudulent.” Lilian said through a memo reference number MPYG.CS/1/7/5.
In the 2016/2017 financial year, the State Department of Public Service and Youth Development received Sh22.2 billion, while in the 2017/2018 it got Sh17.9 billion. Documents supplied to the investigators show that NYS suppliers were paid Sh6.2 billion in the 2016/2017 period, while Sh2.6 billion was paid in the 2017/2018 period, bringing it to Sh8.8 billion.
In the 2016/2017 period, there was Sh3.6 billion in unpayable claims. In the 2017/2018 financial year the unpayable claims amounted to Sh2.3 billion, totalling to Sh5.9 billion between 2016 and 2018. According to documents given to the investigators, in the 2016/2017 period, there were 1,401 suppliers as opposed to 421 in the 2017/2018 period. This year, NYS is yet to process 179 claims amounting to Sh1 billion.
“It has been decided that all sector, ward commanders (officers) who were in the programme report back to their respective stations immediately for deployment as we wait for further directions on Youth Empowerment Programme activities.” An internal correspondence signed by Sospeter Mabeya on behalf of Director General Richard Ndubai read in part.
The memo dated November 20, 2017 reference number NYS/ED/9/1/C’C’ VOL VI directed all the commanding officers to give returns and those who would not have reported by Monday, 27 November 2017 be marked as absentees from duty. The abrupt suspension of the YEP projects was necessitated by demands for thorough evaluation of projects activities by the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs. Effectively, all the ongoing projects will be stalled until the audit is complete.
In April 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta relaunched the YEP projects under NYS programme as part of the second phase to benefit unemployed youths. Majorly, the activities were designed to focus mainly on infrastructure and environment projects.