Kenya: Deputy President William Ruto’s Office among top Institutions under probe over graft

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The office of Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has been on the top 10 list of public offices under probe by the anti-corruption watchdog Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for graft and abuse of state funds totaling  to Sh442 million.

In a report that covers the 2015-2016 financial year, the anti-corruption agency says has completed investigating 78 cases involving billions of shillings.

The files for these cases have been forwarded to Kenya Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who will decide either to take them to court or send them back for more investigations.

Kenya’s Deputy in a case was publically knicknamed Hustler’s jet scandal EACC says there were procurement irregularities in hiring a private jet to fly Ruto to various destinations across Africa. Over $984,251 is feared to have been lost through the scandal, states the report.

The office was also investigated for the embezzlement of $1,968,503 million by a public officer.

In the third case, Ruto’s office was once again investigated for procurement irregularities involving the purchase of lifts. The funds involved totaled Sh50 million.

In the fourth case, the office was investigated for alleged double payment for renovation works at Ruto’s official residence in Karen amounting to Sh92 million.

Investigations by the EACC are no proof of corruption because the DPP can clear the suspects due to lack of evidence or after determining no crime had been committed.

EACC and the office of the DPP have a poor record of successfully investigating and prosecuting high level corruption — especially that involving billions of shillings.

-Other offices-

Other Kenyan ministries under the commission’s scan are; Transport and Infrastructure and Interior and Coordination of National Government.

Also in the list are the ministries of Roads and Tourism, and public bodies such as the Kenya Railways Corporation, Kenya National Highways Authority, National Housing Corporation, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the Mandera County Government according to the Nation Newspaper.

 Topping the list of public institutions investigated for graft is the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, involving a total of Sh3.1 billion.

The first case involved allegations of misappropriation of public funds arising from the lease of government equipment in deals amounting to Sh1.6 billion.

In the second case, the same ministry was investigated for alleged mismanagement of public funds through overpricing, amounting to Sh1.5 billion.

The Interior and National Coordination ministry also came up for investigations in the loss of funds running into billions of shillings.

In the first case, investigations centered on alleged abuse of office by a former Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Public Service who is not, however, named. The amount involved is Sh1 billion.

In the second case, the National Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) under the same ministry was investigated for procurement irregularities in relation to consultancy services involving Sh99 million. The agency’s former CEO William Okedi is facing charges related to the scandal.

The ministry of Roads and Public Works was also investigated for abuse of office and irregular payments for works not done in the construction of the Garissa-Modika Nuno road in a deal amounting to Sh849 million.

PROCUREMENT IRREGULARITIES

During the same period, EACC investigated the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife over procurement irregularities in the tender for the construction of the Catering Levy Trustee headquarters on Valley Road in Nairobi in a contract amounting to Sh800 million.

Also under investigations was the Kenya Railways Corporation for the loss of colossal amounts of money.

The corporation faced two cases, the first one relating to allegations of procurement irregularities in respect of consultancy services amounting to Sh700 million and the second regarding tender irregularities in the construction of relocation units at Kibera and Mukuru slums involving Sh136 million.

EACC also investigated the Kenya National Highways Authority over allegations of irregular cancellation of the contract for the repair and maintenance of the Mombasa-Miritini road involving Sh35 million.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards was also investigated for fraud relating to the irregular purchase of printing machines amounting to Sh300 million, while the National Housing Corporation was probed for fraud relating to the purchase of land in a deal totalling Sh300 million.

The authority also investigated allegations of misappropriation of public funds amounting to Sh180 million at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, which led to the exit of board chairman Bruce Odhiambo and chief executive Catherine Namuye.

The report released by the EACC chief executive Halakhe Waqo and acting chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit, also indicates that corruption is increasingly being devolved to the counties, with government and county assemblies on the spot for the misuse of millions of shillings.

Source: Daily Nation