, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said she will not step aside from her post despite mounting pressure for her to quit.
Renewed pressure comes a day after the Public Accounts Committee stumbled on a litany of inflated expenses in a department under her watch including the supply and installation of a touch screen TV in her office at a cost of Sh1.798 million, computers, a printer, telephone headsets and a water dispenser at a combined cost of Sh1.4 million.
In a post appearing on her Facebook page, Waiguru says she “will continue to serve my country diligently as I have always done for as long as I am given the trust to do so.”
The embattled CS claimed the media has been on a “three month incessant attack on her character” following allegations of corruption in the Ministry of Devolution and its agencies including the National Youth Service (NYS).
“It’s amazing that whereas there are similar and more serious allegations of misuse of funds in many government departments there is never the personalised level of attack on CSs that has been directed at me. Surely this is no longer about the fight against corruption. It’s calculated evil, vindictive and ill intentioned. It’s an unfortunate distraction from the work the ministry has been doing in the last two years.”
She added that as the CS, she is not involved in the procurement or selection of companies that are only looped in when there is a problem.
“At no point has any investigation either by EACC, CID or any other body pointed to my personal engagement with corrupt deals. Yet the vicious unwarranted attacks continue.”
Waiguru continued: “What is shocking is the deliberate refusal to recognise my role as a CS and that of officers who are either accounting officers or AIE (Authority to Incur Expenditure) holders in government departments. Both by law and in practice, I do not procure. I do not purchase anything for the ministry. I don’t sign or negotiate contracts.”
On alleged inflated costs in procurement of items in her office, Waiguru said the differences have been exaggerated.
“And for the record I have no such TV screen or piano in my office. God bless Kenya,” the statement concludes.
The expenses were discovered as the committee scrutinised the ministry’s file of replies to the queries raised in the Auditor-General’s report on the government’s accounts for the 2013/2014 financial year.
The Auditor-General had queried the ministry’s failure to spend the Sh11 billion it had budgeted for in the 2013/2014 financial year. It had spent Sh8 billion but had not provided payment vouchers and a register of assets.
PAC members were also concerned that some of the expenses in the asset registers for the Directorate of Public Service Management were suspect.
Among these were a heavy duty photocopier worth Sh1.4 million, anti-virus software supplied to the ministry at Sh973,780 and Adobe In Design CS6 software at Sh1.9 million; 45 external hard disks at Sh11,102 each; a laptop bought for Sh206,000; 18 tailor-made clear male and female condom dispensers at Sh25,000 each; CorelDraw software for Sh3.4 million; a computer and personal laptop for Sh1.1 million; and carpets at Sh3.8 million.
The directorate also bought a Yamaha piano for office use at Sh235,500. The Huduma Kenya Secretariat paid Sh242,500 for 100 4GB flash disks, meaning it paid Sh2,425 for a flash disk that ordinarily costs roughly Sh1,000.