Members of the National Assembly have lately been conspicuously silent over the ever-unfolding National Youth Service scandal. If you thought it was out of shock, shock on you. It has emerged that 52 MPs drawn from both Jubilee and CORD have been sucked into the NYS scum as they got lucrative tenders for the construction of Huduma Centres.
MPs were contracted to build, refurbish and equip Huduma Centres in 47 counties, in an ambitious programme started in 2013.
Investigations by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, as reported in the Weekend Star, indicate Kenyans may have lost up to Ksh15 billion through irregular contracts and inflated supplies prices since, according to PAC, the ministry cannot account for Ksh15 billion of its Ksh25 billion allocation in 2013-14 financial year.
“An earth-shaking report will be tabled next month,” an unnamed PAC member told the Star.
“What we saw in our inspections was appalling. Some hyped in the media before launch are just a sham. Some contractors should be in Kamiti [Maximum Security Prison0.”
PAC has been probing ministry spending and has toured 40 centres in 27 counties to assess value for money in constructing the one-stop, digitalised citizen service hubs. Public Service Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, who is responsible for Huduma Centres, reportedly told the committee she needed time to “tell how the money was spent”. She was appointed in November after Devolution and National Planning CS Anne Waiguru resigned due to corruption allegation, then her ministry was split.
The Huduma Centres were a Waiguru flagship project. The revelations worsen the political storm following claims key Jubilee leaders took part in the Ksh791 million National Youth Service theft. PAC investigations show some MPs — including some who vigorously defended Waiguru — did shoddy work in building or refurbishing, but still pocketed millions of shillings.
Since Wednesday, Cord MPs have twice postponed media briefings about allegations top Jubilee leaders were among politicians benefitting from the scam.