Just days after former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was ‘cleared’ of any wrong-doing in the National Youth Service corruption saga, new evidence has come to light suggesting that she is in fact behind it all.
In an affidavit filed in court yesterday, Ms Josephine Kabura Irungu, one of the people charged in connection with the corruption scandal, reveals that Ms Waiguru was at the centre of it all.
Ms Kabura says that Waiguru, under the guidance of political analyst and NYS consultant Mutahi Ngunyi, devised devious schemes to divert public attention and mislead investigative agencies, including writing a backdated letter.
The elaborate cover-up involved cooling public anger by slapping some suspects with ‘funny charges’ and directing blame elsewhere.
Ms Kabura reveals that they have been good friends with Waiguru for several years, and the former CS once loaned her Sh1 million to start a computer accessories shop. She says that it was in fact Waiguru’s suggestion that she should get a side hustle since the fat government wallets take time to open up.
“CS Waiguru also stated that, in big deals, there are normal Government bureaucratic delays in remittance of payments and she therefore advised that it would be wise to have some other business as a front to rely on. In this regard, I floated the idea of a computer accessories shop and she loaned me a sum of Sh1 million.” reads the affidavit.
Waiguru, as revealed on the affidavit, facilitated the opening of numerous companies to do business with NYS. Ms Kabura recounts the former CS giving her instructions to open bank accounts for them at Family Bank KTDA plaza branch.
“Ms Waiguru called an employee of Family Bank whose role was to ensure that the accounts were opened and operated without any hiccups,” says Ms Kabura.
Also deeply involved in these deals was CS Waiguru’s sister Ms Loise Mbarire.
“Most of the time the CS Waiguru would request that I give part profits to a lady named Loise Mbarire, CS Waiguru’s sister, who was supposed to give back the money to me or the CS Waiguru after servicing her deliveries.
“Loise informed me that she worked in a law firm at Finance House on Loita Street. She would come (to the bank) in different vehicles, park in the basement and wait for me to withdraw and take it down to her, one bag at a time,” Ms Kabura says in her affidavit.
Word soon started to get out of some suspect deals happening at the NYS. Central Bank questioned the payments and that was the beginning of an elaborate cover-up plan.
According to Ms Kabura, CS Waiguru called a meeting at her Runda residence. Taking the fall was Mr Adan Harakhe, then a senior NYS official. He was accused of “processing deals behind their backs”.
Among those present in the meeting was Mutahi Ngunyi, a consultant for NYS, Mr Hassan Noor, who was the Chief of Staff at the Devolution Ministry, Mr Harakhe and Mr Joseph Mugwanja, the director of the Banking Fraud Department.
“Mr Mutahi Ngunyi advised Madam Waiguru to do an official statement to cool down public anger,” she says in her court papers. “He also advised her to do a backdated letter on the purportedly stolen password … This backdated letter was dated June 5, 2015.”
Mr Mugwanja was instructed to divert the attention of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigators, and in return Waiguru was to put in a good word for him to become the next CID director.
Ms Kabura recounts mentioning that she had Sh80 million in hard cash in two office safes. Ms Waiguru sent Mr Mugwanja and other officers from his department to collect the money for ‘safe keeping’.
“CS Waiguru said they would keep it safely away from even NIS who had been looped into the case,” she says.
Ms Kabura was one of the contractors supplying road building materials for work being done at the Kibera slums. She says that the reason she kept huge amounts of money in her office is because Waiguru had told her that ‘jua kali’ suppliers always wanted to be paid in cash.
Ms Kabura further reveals that she would get requests to make huge deposits to some bank accounts, and at one point handed Sh20 million to a stranger. Upon making a call to Waiguru, the CS would always sign off the transfer.
Ms Kabura then gives another shocker – an attempt to buy off the media.
She says that Ms Waiguru introduced her to two journalists, Mr Mwaniki Munuhe and Mr Maina Kamore. The CS referred to them as media gurus she had been working with since joining government.
“She informed me that she had been working with these media personalities since she joined the government. She also instructed me to give Mr Mwaniki Munuhe the sum of Sh10 million for purposes of propaganda and to assist clean my name,” she says.
Mwaniki Munuhe is a reporter at Standard while Maina Kamore works for The Star.
If there is any truth in this part of the affidavit, then Maina Kamore must have done a really nice job for the CS, when he gave us a new villain in the NYS scandal in the name of Ben Gethi.
His exclusive front page story on ‘How Gethi Spent Sh585 million NYS cash’ cast a big doubt on the narrative that Waiguru had stolen.
Ms Kabura further reveals that the CS told her that her name would be included in the charge sheet, but only ‘funny charges’ would be preferred against her.
“That charge as promised, would be abuse of office and breach of public trust,” she said.
This would effectively reduce the pressure on her to step aside.
“CS Waiguru also informed me that she had pushed for charges of many people, including the permanent secretary and director-general so that she would not be implicated anywhere.
According to the CS, the idea was to paint the image of a vicious and uncontrollable cartel of crooked people working with senior officers, which then was beyond the control of the CS,” she says.
In the affidavit, Ms Kabura reveals that Waiguru was aware she would end up in the cabinet even before the elections were held, and promised her big government deals in advance.
There is also some ‘spy’ details in there, specifically when Waiguru gave Kabura a secure phone to be switched on between 7am and 9 am, and 7pm and 9pm. Only Waiguru would call her on this phone.
One of the beneficiaries of all this was Mutahi Ngunyi. This was his immediate reaction on Twitter.
The former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru also had a few issues with the report aired last night.
Coming just hours after Anne Waiguru confirmed that she’ll be going for the Nairobi governor’s seat, it will be interesting to see how this develops.