, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru has denied having a TV worth Sh1.7 million in her office.
A visibly irritated Waiguru interrupted her Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti to voice her disappointment at the depiction given by the media that the integrated monitoring touch screen was a mere TV set.
“It is not a TV screen, it is not a TV for watching TV programmes. The media out there if you read the newspapers says there is a TV that costs Sh1.8 million in the minister’s office. Kenyans were not told that it was a PC cum-television; the impression out there is that it is in my office which give an impression of large living and luxury,” she said.
Kenyans on Twitter expressed their anger over how taxpayers’ money was misused even as Waiguru denied being directly involved in procurement, purchasing and signing or negotiation of contracts in the ministry.
Mangiti was responding to the MPs queries about the ‘TV’ when she explained that it was actually located in the ministry boardroom.
Mangiti has been given two weeks to submit an asset register he claims is the correct version of the ministry’s holding and not the one that was made public on Tuesday.
This is after he confessed to the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that a copy he had presented on Tuesday was full of errors.
The document ‘accidentally’ submitted to the parliamentary team left MPs shocked and convinced that the Ministry of Devolution has blatantly misappropriated huge amounts of taxpayers’ monies.
PAC chairman Nicholas Gumbo then interjected wondering why the PS was contradicting his boss who had earlier told the committee that she has never seen the equipment.
“Please Madame CS, much as you are playing your role as the CS, we are also playing our role as MPs, please, what was so difficult for you tell us that it is not in my office it is in the ministry’s boardroom. We have a good meeting don’t let us cut our fuses at this final end,” he said.
But Waiguru was more aggravated with the depiction of her ministry as the most corrupt in the government.
“Corruption is not unique to the Devolution Ministry. We have civil servants who work in our ministry, it’s the same people who work in other departments of government. We have heard the Chief Justice lament about corruption in the Judiciary. Even the Majority Leader recently complained of corruption here in Parliament. We at the ministry are beginning to think that our main undoing is wanting to be transparent, because if we had not told you about it you would not have known.”
She insisted that she does not engage in procurement, purchasing and signing or negotiation of contracts in the ministry.
Waiguru had earlier in the day, taken to social media where she accused the media of incessant attacks on her character over corruption claims against the Devolution Ministry and the National Youth Service.
The Auditor General’s Report for 2013-14, which queried the spending and demanded a full “asset register”, is what exposed the misuse of public funds.
It is that copy of the register from the Directorate of Public Service Management that had all the inflated bills.