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Political camps blamed for delay in NYS probe

A disagreement on sanctions against Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen’s law firm is said to be delaying completion of investigations into the National Youth Service scandal.

The Public Accounts Committee is yet to release its report on the fraud at the agency.

Some members of the committee now fear there may be a plot to delay the report, and to take advantage of the increasing loss of interest by MPs, to kill the matter.

Those who spoke to the Nation in confidence said the team had broken into political camps. “We went to Mombasa and we could not agree. The problem is that, when you mention Murkomen, people take sides. The committee had agreed that we write the report after Waiguru (former Devolution Cabinet Secretary) had appeared before it, but politics has since become a stumbling block,” said an MP.

Another committee member spoke of his colleagues’ fears that the investigation had lost steam, which he said had raised concerns there was a plan to have the matter thrown out.

Mr Murkomen’s law firm — Sing’oei, Murkomen and Sigei Advocates, is facing sanctions from the committee after its managing partner declined to submit bank statements and other documents deemed necessary to aid investigations.

The senator also wrote to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to complain about the conduct of some committee members, whom he said had solicited Sh40 million from banks in the course of the investigations.

Mr Muturi is yet to address the matter but has said, in a past interview, that he could only act on a formal complaint.

POLITICS INFILTRATED COMMITTEE

But, another member of the committee blamed the Devolution ministry for delay in concluding the report. The MP said the ministry delayed in providing records from the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) and refuted claims that politics had infiltrated the committee.

“The ministry gave us very many documents on Ifmis’ transactions for the whole ministry but what we required were specifically those related to the NYS. We expect the ministry to provide them next week and then we can complete the report by Thursday,” he said.

He said the committee’s work was rather “straightforward” since most of the suspects in the NYS scandal, such as Josephine Kabura, Ben Gethi and others had already been charged in court, and the committee’s role was to give observations on what further action will be taken.

The lawmaker, who consistently attended the sittings, including the high profile appearance of Ms Kabura and Ms Waiguru last year, said the committee was at the stage where it was making observations and findings based on what was presented before the committee, before making recommendations.

However, the Ifmis report from the Devolution ministry was required to enable members to make determination on the flow of the funds from the Service, and who should take blame and recommend punitive measures.

The MP however, refused to be drawn into discussion as to whether “new suspects” would emerge out of the impending report only saying “what transpired during committee sittings is what you will see once the report is complete and ready for tabling in the House.”

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