Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has cast aspersions on the integrity of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the validity of its report on the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.
In a post on his official Twitter account Wednesday, Murkomen labeled PAC members as thieves who are set on using their positions to extort money from individuals in the guise of probing NYS scandal.
“@koinangejeff I am saddened that u are giving credibility to PAC report. Those are thieves. PAC is a toll station 4 collecting bribes (sic),” he tweeted.
The post came during TV show host Jeff Koinange’s interview with former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru on Citizen TV, which largely focused on PAC’s conduct and report on the NYS scandal.
Waiguru, who is Jubilee’s candidate in the Kirinyaga governorship race, has petitioned the court to quash findings in the PAC report recommending a fresh lifestyle audit on her and reinvestigation over NYS scandal.
Speaking at the show, Waiguru discredited PAC as a biased committee that is being used by NASA principal Raila Odinga to frustrate her into withdrawing a defamation suit against him.
“PAC chair Nicholas Gumbo, together with majority of the members in the committee are from Raila’s party, and they are using their positions to help Raila fight the court case in a bid to get his endorsement in their respective political races,” she said during the interview.
“How else would you explain the fact that weeks after Raila Odinga filed a petition in court seeking a fresh lifestyle audit be done on me, PAC comes forth with a similar recommendation, based on no evidence whatsoever?
“A lifestyle audit was done by EACC and thorough investigations carried out by DCI; none of them found any evidence to implicate me to the NYS scandal and they went ahead to clear me; demanding the investigative agencies to repeat the process is merely part of their political machinations.
She said that PAC was on a fishing expedition with the hope of finding something to link her to the scandal, adding that the committee had ceased investigating the scandal and resorted to witch-hunt.
Waiguru, on Wednesday, also revealed that some PAC members had demanded Ksh10 million from her to create a ‘favourable’ report.
“I told them I didn’t have it, and that is why they went ahead to write a report that was aimed at linking me to the scandal,” she said.
Murkomen has in the past accused PAC members of receiving Ksh40 million from an unnamed bank to delink it from NYS scandal with political consultant Mutahi Ngunyi, who was also questioned over his company’s dealings with NYS, has also claimed that some members demanded a bribe of Ksh7.5 million from him.
Murkomen has been named in the report, with PAC recommending that he be charged over her firm’s links to one of the key NYS scandal suspects Ben Gethi.
The report claims that a law firm co-owned by Murkomen – Sing’oei Murkomen & Sigei (SMS) Advocates – reportedly benefitted from proceeds of the NYS scam with the company receiving Ksh15 million from Gethi’s Out Of the Box Solutions.
The company is said to have received Ksh90 million from NYS, just weeks after its registration.
Murkomen’s law firm
Hillary Sigei, one of the partners at the firm, said they that their relationship with Gethi was purely professional, though denying receiving any money from him.
“We confirm that at one point in the course of our professional work Ben Gethi was our client – between 3rd July 2015 and September 3, 2015. We appeared together with other lawyers, who represented him during the time of the NYS investigations before the Banking and Anti-fraud unit of the Central Bank of Kenya.
“We did not however receive any money from Ben Gethi or any other person adversely mentioned in the NYS saga. We are in fact yet to be paid for the services we rendered to Ben Gethi,” he stated during his submission to PAC last year.
Meanwhile, Anne Waiguru has moved to court seeking to have PAC’s recommendations quashed since they did not have evidential backing.
“PAC held 50 sittings during which it interrogated 47 witnesses, and found no evidence that linked me to the NYS scandal. But somehow they made recommendations that I be reinvestigated, basing this on false affidavit filed by Josephine Kabura,” she said.
In an attached affidavit, Waiguru stated that in reaching their recommendations, PAC ignored the advice of Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Director Ndegwa Muhoro who, upon investigation, had determined that Kabura had lied under oath and recommended that she be charges with false swearing.
“There is no evidence to support a finding that I have contravened the provision of Chapter Six of the Constitution and therefore the recommendation that I should be barred from holding public office is calculated to curtail my right under
Article 38 (3)(c) to run for public office,” she states in the affidavit.
She noted that she was not the accounting officer at the Ministry and therefore not the officer answerable to Parliament over the loss of money at the NYS.
The accounting officer was the then Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti who was in charge of implementing procurement policy at the NYS.
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