By Calvin Osiemo
Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga has said that Devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru should step aside following the procurement scam that rocked the National Youth Service (NYS). The former Prime minister says that Ms Waiguru should step aside just as other Cabinet secretaries who have been engulfed in corruption allegations stepped aside to allow for investigations into the matter.
After revelations by the ministry that the amount alleged to have been lost has gone down from Ksh. 826 million to Ksh. 695.4 million, the CS said that the Ksh. 133 million had been confirmed as legitimate payment to the right people. However, Mr. Odinga has refuted the claims after the CS revealed that a password belonging to one of the NYS officials had been stolen. Mr. Odinga now insists that the payments are not genuine.
“How does it (Ksh. 133 million payment) become legitimate while the password was stolen? What happened was very unfortunate. They did not give her a chance to explain herself, her supporters did not allow her to respond to allegations, “said Mr. Odinga.
He condemned the Members of Parliament who heckled each other in Parliament when the CS appeared before MPs to answer questions about corruption claims at the National Youth Service.
Speaking before the joint Finance and Labour Committees of the National Assembly, Ann Waiguru explained that as the CS she is not responsible for handling procurement matters but rather the Ministerial Tender Committee was the ultimate and independent authority on procurement.
“The role of the Accounting Officer in procurement is therefore administrative, and is limited to ensuring that procurement is conducted in accordance with the law and regulation. From the foregoing, and in the same vein, I wish to state categorically that a Cabinet Secretary has no role whatsoever in procurement, either by approvals or otherwise of the decisions of the Ministerial Tender Committee,” CS Waiguru said.