An intricate web of graft and blatant pilferage of taxpayers’ money is brewing at the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) involving junior and senior officials using their own and proxy firms to pay for fictitious supplies, The Informer can authoritatively reveal.
Our investigations have established that at least ten companies are being used as conduits in the scam involving officials drawn from the Accounts, Finance, Procurement and the Cash Office Departments respectively.
According to documents seen by The Informer, the said companies receive multiple payments in at least five different tranches ranging from Sh200,000 to Sh900,000.
For instance, seven companies that have been flagged as possible conduits in fleecing public coffers received at least six payments each, and the highest received payments in eight tranches between November 2021 and mid-February 2022.
Each firm received payments of not less than a Sh4.5million during the period in question.
When contacted for comment, acting NITA Director General Stephen Ogenga acknowledged receipt of the queries but did not respond.
“Much appreciated for this information.” Ogenga said.
According to insiders, Ogenga has an enormous task to reign on the deep entrenched cartels accused of being the key architects behind the coordinated embezzlement of funds at the state agency.
However, NITA Chief Accountant Julius Ndenge neither acknowledged receipt of the questions nor did he provide answers sought.
Previously, officials in the same agency have been accused of similar offences and charged in court.
Two years ago, three top Nita officials among them former board chairman Professor Thomas Ekamais were charged with unlawful acquisition of public funds and misuse of office.
Ekamai was accused of unlawfully acquiring Sh1,681,534 as allowances for meetings he did not attend and visits he failed to take.
On the other hand, his co-accused Isaac Symekah Gwako Okiomera and Francis Mindo Gitaka were also charged before Milimani Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti and denied the charges.
Okiomera is accused that between July 2013 and February 2014 while serving as an accountant at Nita, he allegedly used his office to improperly confer himself benefit of Sh1,681,534 as allowance to Ekamais.
The court heard that he authorised the payment of the said amount without the requisite supporting documents.
Gitaka on the other hand is accused that between July 2013 to February 2014 at the NITA offices in Nairobi being acting Director General and the accounting officer of the agency, he used his office to improperly confer a benefit of Sh1,314,618.00 to Ekamais.
The charge sheet stated that he authorised payment for the said amount of money without the requisite supporting documents.
Further, the prosecution accused Ekamais that between September 6 to 20, 2013 offices in Nairobi, being the chairman of the board knowingly gave to his principal NITA board a false taxi receipt for motor vehicle KBQ 620B showing that he had purportedly incurred taxi expenses of Sh3,000 from Eldoret Airport to Kenmasa hotel an act which was to the detriment of his said principal.
Ekamais is also charged with knowingly giving his principal another taxi receipt showing that he had purportedly incurred taxi expenses of Sh10,000 from Eldoret to Nairobi an act which was to the detriment to the organisation.
Gitaka and Okiomera were released on a bond of Sh500,000 and alternative cash bail of Sh150,000.