Youth Fund probe: MPs give green light for investigation of former boss

Members of Parliament have today adopted a report that seeks to investigate the immediate former chairman of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Board Bruce Odhiambo over financial misappropriation.

The legislators want Odhiambo and the fund’s former CEO Catherine Namuye to answer to charges of diverting public money in what was payments for non-existent services delivered to the board.

The former music producer is accused of facilitating the loss of Sh180 million from the kitty meant for empowerment of youths through financing of development initiatives.  The National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee has been investigating the loss of the said money from the fund.

The alleged funds pilferage occurred after Mr Odhiambo appointed Catherine Namuye, the fund’s chief executive who was later suspended, as the sole signatory to the fund’s account.

Ten days after Ms Namuye’s appointment as the sole signatory, Sh180 million was transferred in two tranches of Sh115 million and Sh65 million to Quorandum Limited as payment for design of the fund’s computer management software for services not delivered.

According to Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua, the move by the fund boss was illegal as he was a non-executive chairman therefore he was not mandated to authorise the appointment.

It is also alleged that Mr Odhiambo benefitted from the Sh180 million taken from the kitty after he was paid Sh3.3 million by Quorandum Limited.

The money was paid on different dates between 2015 and 2016 by Quorandum Director Mukuria Ngamau ostensibly for supply and consultancy services Odhiambo rendered.

Mr Odhiambo was also not entitled to a Sh12 million top-of-the-range vehicle that was also bought for his use. He was also not entitled to a driver and bodyguard.

The embattled youth fund boss resigned barely a year before the end of his term in March this year after spirited campaigns for his resignation or suspension from by the board. Subsequently President Uhuru Kenyatta revoked Odhiambo’s appointment as the board’s chair after the corruption allegations.

In a notice dated in April, the president also revoked the appointment of Sella Bongoko, Paul Gachura Ng’ang’a, Sabra Omar Hussein, Jane Mutinda, Mike Wamae, Clement Ayungo, Nicholas Mwaniki as members of the board.

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