, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Youth and Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margret Kobia has ordered all National Youth Service (NYS) officers implicated in the theft of Sh9 billion at the agency to proceed on compulsory leave with immediate effect to pave way for investigations.
According to a statement sent to newsrooms from the Ministry, the officers are required to step aside until investigations are completed.
“I hereby direct that all officers at NYS in Procurement, Finance and Accounting who are under investigations to proceed on compulsory leave effective immediate to allow investigators to complete their work,” read the part of the statement.
The move comes after Friday’s resignation of Youth Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo and the NYS Director General Richard Ndubai, who stepped aside due to the ongoing probe at the NYS that follows the irregular payment of Sh9 billion for services delivered to the youth agency.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he is confident that investigating agencies will reveal those behind the scandal, a second at the State institution in just a few years.
The Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti on Friday said that over 40 individuals have been summoned to explain their role in the scandal that has threatened to cripple the running of the state department.
The Ministry of Public Service, Youth, and Gender Affairs has since indicated that the payments of all pending bills have been suspended to cushion against any further loss of public funds at NYS.
Meanwhile, pressure has begun to mount for the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to carry out a thorough probe into the scandal.
Tetu Member of Parliament James Gichuhi Mwangi says if shoddy investigations are conducted then those culpable will go scot free.
Gichuhi, who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament, further said that they will summon the officials before the committee once the Criminal Investigations Department is done grilling them.
He lauded Ndubai and Omollo for their decision to step aside to pave way for investigations.
In 2016, another Sh1.6 billion scandal was unearthed at NYS and saw the former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru resign from her position.
Former Devolution PS Peter Mangati and 21 other suspects were arrested over the theft.
They were however acquitted in March 2018, after the Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali stated that the prosecution failed to table sufficient evidence to prove that there was indeed a conspiracy to commit the crime.