MPs under probe over loss of billions in constituency funds
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is investigating corruption allegations in the administration of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).
Investigations, which target several MPs and CDF officials, could lift the lid on how the multi-billion shilling kitty has been looted over the years.
The probe comes even as MPs push for the enactment of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which proposes to increase the allocation from Sh41.7 billion to Sh61 billion by adjusting the minimum amount from 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent of national revenue.
Investigators have zeroed in on a sitting MP, a former MP and CDF committee members in three constituencies who are accused of siphoning millions of shillings meant for development projects.
In one case under probe, a former MP is being investigated for allegedly pocketing millions of shillings contributed by parents and friends to acquire school buses.
Among those EACC has probed include Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, his brother Alloise Kinyanjui who is eyeing the Juja parliamentary seat, and some CDF committee members over alleged theft of about Sh100 million.
Also on the EACC’s radar is former Ol Joro Orok MP JM Waiganjo who is being investigated for allegedly embezzling Sh6 million raised to buy buses for secondary schools.
Ol Kalou constituency CDF officials are also being probed for allegedly siphoning Sh55.8 million through fictitious tenders.
Several other MPs are in court for allegedly embezzling the kitty, among them Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa who has been charged with Sh19 million theft, Lari’s John Mburu who, together with several CDF officials are in court over theft of Sh27 million, James Gakuya (Embakasi North) for alleged theft of Sh39.8 million, Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa (Sh1.6 million) Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi’s younger brother Joseph Mwangangi, over claims of bursary funds embezzlement, while Ol Kalou MP David Kiaraho has been interrogated over the utilisation of Sh120 million.
Former Ol-Joro Orok MP Waiganjo, who is seeking to recapture the seat he lost to Michael Muchina in 2017, has been accused of embezzling Sh6.68 million through alleged procurement of five school buses for Ol Joro Orok, Gatimu Mixed, Ruiru, Gathanji and Weru secondary schools.
Some Sh30.6 million was held in the project account at Equity Bank while the NG-CDF committee and other stakeholders raised Sh6.68 million through a harambee to support the initiative.
While the five buses were procured from Thika Motor Dealers at Sh30.5 million and given to the schools, Sh1 million, which was part of the harambee money, was, according to EACC, transferred to Waiganjo’s account and the remaining Sh4,180,695 was withdrawn in cash and could not be accounted for by the committee.
“On 23rd November, 2021, a report was compiled and forwarded to the DPP with recommendations that the former MP of Ol Oljoro Orok Constituency be charged with one count of fraudulent acquisition of public funds,” EACC states in its quarterly report. The DPP has advised that the matter be investigated further.
EACC has also recommended that Kuria, his siblings and former CDF committee officials stand trials for illegally getting tenders and receiving kickbacks.
In one of the cases, Kuria is accused of receiving Sh66.9 million from the kitty, out of which Sh15 million was allocated to Gokunju Memorial Primary School project.
EACC established that Stamic Agencies Limited was paid Sh14.9 million and that it transferred a total of Sh9.1 million to Roret Enterprises which is owned by the former CDF chairman, who after receiving the payment, wired Sh3 million to the MP.
“Investigations revealed that the said chairperson of the Gatundu South NG-CDF upon receipt of the Sh9,177,700 from Stamic Agencies Limited, made a cash deposit of Sh3,700,000 to account number 0660263591736 at Equity Bank, Gatundu Branch belonging to the MP Gatundu South Constituency,” says the report.
In yet another case, Kuria’s siblings and close allies incorporated limited companies for the purpose of doing business with the CDF kitty in the constituency through restricted tendering.
The MP has also been cited for receiving a benefit of Sh3.3 million and conflict of interest through Finishline Construction that had been awarded a tender for the construction of a dormitory at Wamwangi Secondary School at a cost of Sh12 million by the Ministry of Education.
EACC established that Finishline Construction Limited completed the project and was paid a total of Sh11 million, after which the company transferred Sh3.3 million to Smith & Gold Production Limited that is owned by Kuria’s brother.
In Ol Kalou, Sh62.5 million was disbursed to the road project account between May 15, 2014 to October 31, 2018, and during the same period, Sh55 million was withdrawn in favour of NG-CDF roads project committee officials and seven companies, purportedly in relation to various roads works.
But investigations established that the project manager and secretary of the NG CDF irregularly awarded nine tenders for construction of classrooms in various public schools within the constituency to two companies belonging to the latter while a tenth tender was awarded to a company belonging to the project manager.