, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the restructuring of the National Youth Service (NYS) in a bid to seal managerial and operational gaps that have exposed the agency to massive looting in the past.
The new measures include the constitution of an oversight board with the Director General as Chief Executive Officer.
The Cabinet also approved the review of the supply chain management, budgetary and internal audit procedures to fine-tune the operations of NYS.
“Cabinet approved the proposed restructuring of the National Youth Service (NYS), to deal with the serious managerial and operational challenges that have been reported at the NYS in the recent past,” a brief statement from the Cabinet Office read.
The changes were announced even as President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the swearing in of Francis Otieno who takes over the State Department of Public Service and Youth Affairs from ex-Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo.
Omollo stepped aside in May to face facing corruption-related charges over the loss of Sh 468 million at the NYS through fictitious payments.
She, alongside the NYS Director General Richard Ndubai, denied conspiracy to commit corruption and abuse of office when they were charged before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti on May 29.
The two were accused of approving the said payments amounting to Sh 468 million for services not procured to ten companies – Annwaw Investment, Njewanga Investments, Arkroad Holdings Limited, Kunjiwa Enterprises, Ameri Trade Limited, Ngwiwaco Enterprises, Jerrycathy Enterprises, Fisrtling Supplies Limited, Kalabash Food Supplies Limited, and Ersatz Enterprises.
In a bid to redeem public confidence in the NYS, President Kenyatta picked former Machakos County Commissioner, Matilda Sawkwa as the new NYS Director General.
Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Margaret Kobia subsequently suspended the payment of pending bills totaling to Sh5.6 billion owed by NYS to pave way for verification of the claims.
“We’re not saying that the officers are going to be stepping aside but we want to give the new DG a new team. They can be assigned other areas within the institution, but they will not be doing procurement,” Kobia explained when she announced the move at NYS headquarters on July 4.
Kobia vowed to institute reforms that will ensure public funds allocated to NYS are not looted, promising that loss of funds will not happen under her watch.
“We want to undertake that there shall be no other scandal reported at the service,” she said flanked by Sakwa, and Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Chief Administrative Officer Rachel Shebesh.