, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – Suspended Youth Enterprise Development Fund Chief Executive Officer Catherine Namuye has implicated three members of the board in the irregular procurement of the Sh180 million ICT systems at the fund.
Namuye who appeared before Parliament’s Public Investments Committee along with her lawyer told the committee that the board had interests in a private company that won the tender for the information system upgrade.
“Were there specific board interest in the matter, I would say there were…” she explained.
“You were made a single signatory, you were being asked to pay significantly huge sums of money without pre-requisite procurement process; you were reluctant there was pressure. Maybe tell us who these board members who were pressurizing you were?” PIC chairman Adan Keynan queried.
“Chairma… that is information I would want to discuss with this committee, as the committee only,” Namuye said in response.
She said the Board was behind the non-existent contract and she was forced to make payments even when procurement laws were not adhered to.
It however emerged that controversial firm Quorandum Ltd was paid Sh180 million for a survey on the best IT system to use. This revelation came after Namuye admitted that the project had not been implemented by the time she was suspended in October last year.
“This committee has the latitude to say that we will hold our hearing at the headquarters of the YEDEF, and we will be asking any officer including the person in charge of the ICT, to come and demonstrate whether this facility have ever been commissioned by Quorandum Ltd and you prepared for the route,” she stated.
“I am seated as an accounting officer. It’s not for me to say yes or no this has been done. It’s for the user units….” she tried to explain as MPs in the committee jeered and requested the committee chairman to declare her a hostile witness.
Quorandum Director Mukuria Ngamau, of the company accused of receiving the Sh180 million from the Youth Fund, last week told the Parliamentary Committee that Namuye was the sole contact person with the firm and that she helped the firm to win the controversial tender.
The former CEO was however hard-pressed to tell the House team whether the procurement for the ICT system was done in line with the Public Procurement Regulations.
“If you can’t recall two things Catherine, then you have no business appearing before us, you were asked; how did you carry out the procurement process, you say you don’t know. Did you pay? You can’t recall.”
Namuye insisted that the payment instructions were issued according to the board instructions.
She said that at the time of her suspension on October 21, 2014 the Chase Bank Call Deposit Bank Account balance stood at Sh104, 297,489 while the account had Sh219,814,594 at the close of the government financial year 30/6/2015 contrary to reports that the account didn’t have money.
PIC Chairman Keynan said they will conclude next Thursday after hearing submissions from former Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti, Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua, individual Youth Enterprise Development Fund directors and officials of various companies who have dealt with the Fund.