NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions are this week expected to give submissions on a public petition seeking the removal of the Auditor General Edward Ouko from office.
EACC Chief Executive Halakhe Waqo and DPP Keriako Tobiko have been listed to appear before the Finance and Trade Committee of the National Assembly to provide information of their investigations in which they seem to reach contradicting conclusions.
Whereas the EACC called for the prosecution of Ouko over abuse of office and the irregular award of a Sh100 million software contract, the DPP cleared Ouko of all the three charges, but approved prosecution of retired Deputy Auditor General Stephen Kinuthia on expanded graft charges.
Tobiko will address the context of remarks he made during an interview with a newspaper where he is quoted as saying that there were “sinister and mischievous” attempts to coerce him to put Ouko in the dock.
In dismissing the charges against the Auditor-General, the DPP said he found that evidence collected by the anti-graft body does not support their recommendation that he charge the Auditor General with abuse of office over the irregular procurement of an audit vault software system by his office.
EACC wanted the Auditor General to be charged for among others things engaging in a project without prior planning, contrary to the law, and failing to comply with procurement requirements.
The DPP however directed that charges be preferred against the Deputy Auditor General – Corporate Services Stephen Kinuthia for dealing with suspect property worth millions of shillings, conflict of interest and corruption.
According to the DPP, there is sufficient evidence that Kinuthia dealt with suspect property, that is “receipt of Sh27 million from the proceeds of the acquisition of Audit Vault from OSI Kenya Ltd at the cost of Sh100 million contrary to Section 47 as read with Section of 48 of Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.”
Other officials including the Manager of Information Technology Audit Annette Mwangi and Director of Information, Communication, and Technology Justus Ongera will be charged with the offense of deceiving.
The DPP also found sufficient evidence to charge Charles Gichobi, the Sales Executive Oracle Kenya, “with the acquisition of proceeds of crime Sh500,000 contrary to the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act”.
Ouko asked the National Assembly to dismiss the petition seeking his removal from office when he appeared before the House team, arguing it is malicious and a witch-hunt.
The petitioner, Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah, has accused the Auditor-General of wasting public funds by accumulating a Sh1 million phone bill on his iPad while he was abroad.
Mwagonah claimed that Ouko frequently travels out of the country for private reasons but the expenses are met through public funds.
He said that as a result of the many trips, Ouko is forced to manage the office remotely, which results in high telephone and internet costs.
Mwagonah further claimed that Ouko has five cars allocated to him, some of which are used by his wife and daughter.
Other allegations include failing to submit reports to the President and Parliament at the end of financial years, giving an audit firm that was supposed to be auditing his office other work, and buying an office at a cost of Sh10 million in Mombasa, which was never used.