The Jubilee government was founded on a platform of “Umoja, Uchumi and Uwazi”. These three ideals constitute the very foundations of our existence. The three inform this briefing on government undertakings for this week.
National Youth Service (NYS) Accusations
The corruption investigations at the National Youth Service (NYS) have been twisted to meet certain political ends. It is for this reason that we need to put the record straight in the spirit of ‘Uwazi’.
First and foremost, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is not carrying out any investigations at NYS. On the 29th of May 2015, CBK wrote to the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, asking for a clarification regarding an RTGS Transaction to Ms. Bora Global Ltd. This clarification had been requested by Development Bank, as the bankers for Bora Global Ltd. Such requests, emanating from commercial banks to the Central Bank are standard practice and the matter was clarified. To the best of my knowledge, no other transaction has been queried by CBK at NYS. Narratives around CBK investigations at NYS must therefore be treated as political speculation.
Secondly, the issue of KSHS 826 million has been twisted in order to execute a well choreographed scheme. On 20th and 21st May 2015, the NYS IFMIS system was hacked using a stolen identity and some illegal payments authorized. This transaction was caught on time and the Senior Deputy Director General for NYS wrote to the Director of IFMIS to stop the payments. The payments were stopped. Subsequently, the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning wrote to the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), asking for speedy investigations into this illegality. And on 19th June 2015, a Progress Report from CID was dispatched to the Cabinet Secretary indicating the following:
1. Six computers have been seized from employees of NYS for forensic analysis by DCI’s (Department of Criminal Investigations) Cyber Crime Unit to establish the person who did the fraudulent entries.
2. Sixteen statements have been recorded to date from staff at NYS and the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.
3. The six companies who were listed for the fraudulent payments include:
a. Form Homes Builders
b. Draco Capital
c. Roof and All Trading
d. Reinforced Concrete Technologies
e. Grumum Engineering
f. Tegmen Trading
4. The report further indicates that so far, there is no evidence of loss of funds given that the transaction was reversed at IFMIS. Similarly, a Forensic Analysis Report by the Cyber Crime Unit is awaited in order to deal with the drivers of this criminality.
On the violence in Kibra over NYS projects, we encourage all parties to resolve whatever differences they have within the confines of the rule of law. But it is obvious that there are those among our political class with a history of pervasive violence as a way of winning their arguments. That Kenya of yesterday is behind us. The Kenya of stones in bags as a method of resolving problems is behind us.
But I would also want to assure the people of Kibra that we will re-build whatever was destroyed and shame the devil. This government is committed to the transformation of young people from the sorry state of ‘earners of wages’ to ‘owners of capital’; from ‘cannon fodder for bad politics’ to ‘agents of transformative change’
Visits by President Obama and His Holiness Pope Francis:
Under this administration, Kenya has become a preferred destination for world leaders. We have had visits from the UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon, the President of the World Bank Dr Jim Yong Kim and numerous other notables.
I am happy to note that the President has written to His Holiness Pope Francis, expressing great delight over his Pastoral Visit to Kenya in November 2015. It is significant to note that His Holiness chose Kenya as his first stop, during his maiden visit to Africa. This pastoral visit is important to Kenya, as it will promote national healing, dialogue and peaceful co-existence. More so in the face of extremism and radical criminality.
Of equal note, President Obama’s visit to Kenya this July is not only a homecoming, it is an indication that in the terrain of global politics, Kenya matters; That our stature in regional diplomacy, economy and technological innovation cannot be ignored.
The visit by President Obama is to officially preside over the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which is another big win for Kenya. This Summit offers the country opportunities to exchange high-level views and ideas between global business leaders and entrepreneurs and strengthen its bilateral relations to promote foreign investment and entrepreneurial innovations in the country, and the much-needed global support in the war against terror.
As a country, we are acclaimed as an innovation leader in sub-Saharan Africa and we have evidence to support that acclaim, in our financial services and technology sectors. The privilege of hosting this summit endorses our professed positive economic outlook. We are eager to use this forum to deepen our regional integration and improve our global competitiveness in addition to fortification of our ties with the US, and with Africa.
I must warn though, that the global attention on Kenya ahead of the Obama visit, the GES and the visit by his Holiness, will attract attention-seeking politicians. These are likely to engage in schemes that depict the government as corrupt, and incompetent. The government urges the country to remain vigilant and reject the self-seeking dramas by politicians playing to the gallery of local and international media ahead of these visits.
Progress on Government Delivery:
Despite challenges in the security sector, the government has delivered on its promises with telling results:
1. Economy. According to the Bloomberg Business Survey of March 2015, Kenya was voted the fastest growing economy in the world After China and the Philippines. The only other African country on this list was Nigeria, which featured way below Kenya.
2. Service Delivery. In March 2015, Huduma Kenya won two International Awards for innovative management in Africa. The first was the Africa Association for Public Administration and Management Award (AAPAM), which Kenya has won for two years in a row. The second is the UN Public Service Award (UNPSA), which Kenya won ahead of Ethiopia. These awards are an indication that service delivery from government to the people is happening.
1. Energy. Government has connected 22,000 primary schools to the national grid. This is probably the most notable achievement in the education sector to date. Similarly, if in the last 80 years we produced an aggregate of 1200 MW, in 40 months, we will have produce 5000MW. This is an equivalent of 125 times the monthly supply. Put differently, if in the last 80 years we connected 1,000 homes a month, we will connect 125,000 homes a month. Just next week our President will be visiting Turkana where he plans to initiate a real transformational wind power plant. The planning for that has begun, and I think we will be heading there just to see the progress as it happens.
2. Youth Transformation. We have expanded the NYS intake from 2,500 to 21,870 service men and women a year. This is the equivalent to what NYS produced every 10 years. But the innovation in NYS is the creation of youth cohorts working side-by-side with our service men and women. This month, we rolled out NYS projects in 45 constituencies and we expect to recruit around 100,000 youth in total. These youth will engage in the ‘ritual of daily saving’ where they put aside KSHS 147 a day. In one day, the entire cohort will have saved 14.7 Million through youth SACCOs. This translates to a monthly saving of KSHS 294 Million and KSHS 3.5 Billion a year. With this kind of money, the youth can engage in enterprise, including community banking. SACCOs belonging to Kibera youth alone have saved in excess of KSHS 100 Million, through daily savings. The government’s intention is to liberate young people from the culture of handouts to a dignified culture of ‘owners of capital’.