, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 23 – Suba MP John Mbadi has petitioned Public Accounts Committee Chairman Nicholas Gumbo to summon Senate Deputy Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Deputy President William Ruto aide, Farouk Kibet for questioning over Sh1.6 billion National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.
The ODM chairman, who is also a member of the powerful House watchdog committee on public expenditure, said he wants Murkomen to appear before the team because he has resulted ‘to address the matter through media and thereby causing more confusion and raising more concerns that require deeper integration.’
The MP this comes after the Committee had resolved to allow the two, who were adversely mentioned by witnesses in connection with receipt of funds linked to the saga, to make written submission regarding the businesses they transacted with NYS which fraud was discovered through Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) platform.
“Press releases do not accord the public a chance to ask question. We are rightly called a watchdog committee. We would be abdicating responsibility if we fail to ask question on behalf of the public,” said the Suba MP who is also a PAC member.
Gumbo had ruled that the Committee will only invite the two individuals over the NYS scandal if their submissions will be unsatisfying.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Murkomen said the law firm received the funds in its clients account on behalf of Out of the Box Solutions.
His sentiments come after fresh details emerged showing that Sing’oei Murkomen and Sigei Advocates, a law firm owned by Murkomen received the monies from Out of the Box Solutions said to be linked to the NYS scandal.
“SMS Advocates represents a wide spectrum of clientele. Our firm has never received any payment from any NYS contractor. Our Client Out of the Box Solutions has never worked or contracted by NYS. The allegations by Ms. Waiguru through her agents that our law firm was paid legal fees amounting to Sh15 million is a figment of her imaginations,” Murkomen said in a statement dispatched from London.
READ: Senator Murkomen denies law firm got Sh15mn NYS loot
Ruto’s aide, Kibet was separately been named in connection with the loss of Sh791 million from the National Youth Service.
Mbadi said the Committee risks losing respect and dignity accorded to it adding that its final report will lack credibility if the team is seen to be ‘shielding some witnesses from interrogation.’
“For the Committee to come out as neutral, objective and fair in the whole saga, everybody who is adversely mentioned get similar and equal treatment including being asked to appear before the Committee without exceptions.”
“There is no justification for leaving out Sen. Murkomen who seems to know a lot and Farouk Kibet who evidence before the Committee indicates not only received money from individuals under investigation but also had a lot of contacts with the individuals in questions.”
Appearing before PAC on November 3, former Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru fell short of directly linking the DP to the scandal, instead naming Kibet and his political right hand man Kipchumba Murkomen as part of those who benefited from the loot.
“There were 150 calls between Farouk Kibet and businessman Ben Gethi in the weeks preceding the NYS scam,” she said, referring to a graph she had carried to the session showing the frequency of telephone calls between the alleged masterminds of the scandal.
Records submitted to PAC showed Kibet received Sh1 million from Ben Gethi, who is listed as having received the bulk of the looted funds.
This allegation led to a bitter exchange of words between the Deputy President and Waiguru over the siphoning of Sh791 million from the NYS.
Ruto threw the first salvo, after he told Waiguru to take responsibility for the scandal as she was the one in charge of the NYS project when the millions of shillings were stolen.
He warned that the government would ensure the culprits are prosecuted.
Waiguru fired back, telling Ruto to let the law take its course and not to influence the outcome of the investigations.
“The last time I checked, investigations are left to independent bodies unless he intends to influence the outcome. On financial responsibility, I respectfully refer him to the PFM law and the Constitution and I believe this country is governed by the rule of law. Finally, I did not mention his office, I referred to individuals based on facts and not allegations,” she stated.