Currently browsing 'Corruption'

MPs Greed: What Ksh. 8.35 billion can do

Posted by on 26th February 2016

Categories: Corruption Kenya Consititution

The relationship between Kenyans and their elected members of Parliament borders that of an abusive relationship. It’s a typical prime time soap opera TV program that is popular with most Kenyans.

These soaps are usually very linear, nothing out of the ordinary. The protagonist (say a woman) will live a miserable life, keeping up with an abusive partner until one day she meets Prince charming who will “open her eyes” to realize she owes the antagonist nothing and she can have a better life with the new macho guy. Sounds familiar?

In our case, MPs are the abusive partner, misusing our hard earned cash and quite extravagant with our money. Unfortunately, we haven’t met Prince charming yet who will open our eyes to see the abusive relationship we are in, otherwise we wouldn’t be constantly voting in the same culprits that have made our lives unbearable. Like the antagonist in these soaps, the MP promises heaven when they want to be voted in or taken back only to show their true colors once assured of the position.

If MPs honestly cared about Kenyans, rather than demanding payment for work they will not do in the name of breach of contract, they could have sacrificed the money as a sign of good faith and promote development projects.

Here’s what the Ksh. 3.3 billion combined with MCAs, Ksh. 5.05 billion could have done between now and the next elections

  1. With only ksh. 3 billion legislatures can construct 1000 solar powered primary schools in the rural areas bridging the advantage city pupils have over rural pupils. Already Aleutia-a UK based company in conjunction with Stonehouse ltd have implemented these designs in Kiambu Kenya.

 

  1. With only Ksh. 3 billion or less our MPs can build at least 500 solar powered market stalls. There’s no need to have shops in rural areas closing by 6pm when we can harvest solar and create a 24hour economy in the rural areas. Again, the estimates are according to the same company that’s already implementing the same.

 

  1. With Ksh. 1 billion MPs together with MCAs can invest in local scientists and introduce biological control measures and clean Lake Victoria of the hyacinth that’s rendering the region poor.

In any case MPs and MCAs are not entitled to the Ksh. 8.35 billion. First, they knew their term will be shorter than the previous Parliament. In fact, the court had on this question in the matter of Interim Independent Commission Sup. Ct. Constitutional Application No. 2 of 2011 ruled that, “The elections come in the context of the first progressive, public-welfare-oriented, historic Constitution which embodies the people’s hopes and aspirations. Not only are these elections one of the vital processes instituted under the Constitution, but they constitute the first act of establishing a whole set of permanent governance organs.” Meaning being the first election that was introducing other new structures, the complexity of the first few elections after promulgation of the constitution had been foreseen. The question of MPs and MCAs compensation, therefore, does not arise.

Secondly, the election date set in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 was passed by all Kenyans, so is the law and cannot be changed. Thirdly, legislators must lead by example and obey the basic principles laid out in the law of the land. Will Parliamentarians arm-twist the Executive again to get their interests met over the wishes of all Kenyans? For how long will Kenyan leaders prioritize their selfish-interests’ over the publics! On the same matter on general elections, the judges concluded thus:

“Clearly, any ambivalence or uncertainty in the path of such crucial elections must, as a matter of public interest, be resolved in time: and the task of resolution rests, in the circumstances prevailing, with the Supreme Court, by its Advisory-Opinion jurisdiction.”

Should we have a public debate on the relevance of EACC?

Posted by on 18th February 2016

Categories: Corruption

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was supposed to be the savior we turn to when all else fails. As the anti-graft body, it’s the institution that we hoped could bring sanity in all the three arms of government in matters corruption, especially after the underwhelming performance of the 11th Parliament and the judiciary’s reputation hanging in the balance with all the controversy surrounding the highest court in the land.

Since its conception under the previous Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), the outfit has done little to inspire confidence. To begin with, the Goldenberg scandal saw the country lose about USD 600million (about 10% of the country’s annual GDP at the time). Kamlesh Pattni, the alleged master mind was cleared eventually and later acquired certificate of good conduct to run as a Member of Parliament.

A few years later, Kenya further lost an estimated USD 30million from the Anglo Leasing scandal and the alleged responsible officers stepped aside only to be reinstated. Some of the alleged key perpetrators walked free because of “lack of evidence”.

Recently, the country once again lost an estimated Kshs. 1.6 billion in the National Youth Service (NYS) saga which saw the resignation of Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Planning and Devolution due to mounting public pressure.

However, the EACC having concluded their investigations cleared the CS, only to issue a statement a month later that they are opening fresh investigations after new details emerged in the form of a 27 page affidavit implicating the former CS. The important question is, wasn’t that what they should have done prior to clearing her? How did their investigations miss the author of this affidavit, yet she’s involved through and through by her own admission?

One therefore wonders whether this is the work of a bungled up cover up or the case is too complex for the anti-corruption body to investigate clearly and consistently. And if it’s the latter then EACC is admitting sheer incompetence and that the commissioners perhaps need help.

In the same breadth, whether the Eurobond money was squandered or utilized is not clear. The opposition has cried foul but has not provided tangible evidence. But again, it is the responsibility of EACC and other relevant institutions to investigate these claims with an aim of shedding light where there’s a misunderstanding and to bring the culprits to book.

The question therefore remains? Is there any use in whistle blowing anymore? Who is not living up to their constitutional mandate? Are mega corruption scandals all about keeping Kenyans busy talking until their personal needs (read: hunger) become too much that they forget about it and only revisit when another similar scandal is revealed? EACC’s failure to act decisively and objectively only serves the lords of impunity.

Impunity not only mocks justice, it impresses upon the masses to disregard the law. It breeds chaos and fertile ground for vigilantes to emerge and thrive. Cartels exist where the law has too many loopholes to be exploited and where justice can be bought and investigations compromised.

We put our trust in the commissioners that they will investigate with the country’s interest in mind and bring to book the culprits. Yet, despite the many times the country expected EACC to step up to the challenge, they only dashed our hopes. Hopes of a better Kenya, hopes of a just Kenya. When will EACC live up to its name?

Perhaps it’s time to discuss openly, truthfully and without malice the relevance of the EACC with regard to its mandate. Should we focus the debate on the constitutional loop holes around the structure of the anti-graft body that interferes with its independence and therefore execution?

And while we seek answers about EACC, the eleventh Parliament continues to underwhelm. That the people charged with the mandate to draft laws in this country seem unperturbed by this trend is cause for worry.

Rule of Law Must be Written in Hearts and Minds to Check Corruption!

Posted by on 13th November 2015

Categories: Corruption

Presently, the problem of Kenya is not lack of laws, we have enough of them. If they were to be implemented many leaders, politicians, their families and cronies would be in jail. Wherever you look at, from Counties to the National Government corruption glares at you in the face without blinking. In Kenya we have socialized corruption such that the acceptance level of it is really high. Kenyans across the political divide have all become either active supporters and beneficiaries or unworried and cooperative victims.

In terms of world’s corruption ranking by Transparency International, Kenya has slipped further down to 145th out of 174 nations, from 136 in 2013. The Auditor General has identified  dozens of corruption cases in procurement, in all government levels, where the prices of goods and services procured have been inflated to mind boggling prices.

The violation of law through omission or commission goes on despite the establishment of a Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA). PPOA is expected to ensure procurement procedures established under the Act are complied with. However the persistent corruption in the procurement process is an indication that this authority is nondescript and may not sanitize the public procurement.

To curb run away corruption in this sector the PPOA needs to ensure that company owners who win tenders can be identified. This is because public funds are being lost in briefcase companies that are allegedly set up by senior people in the government to siphon Kenya’s limited resources.

Since the tabling of the “list of shame” by President Kenyatta, coverage of corruption by the media has been on the increase. Even so, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) that is supposed to make heads roll has continued to drag its feet in bringing the implicated persons to book. This has resulted into a mixture of an outcry and an appeal to public officials to “steal just a little’, painting Kenya as a country in an irredeemable crisis.

When Kenyans gave themselves the 2010 Constitution, they wanted a new order where stealing of public funds would be a thing of the past. In this social contract, Chapter six gives a clear description of how people entrusted with government offices should conduct themselves. But today there is a gap between what we wanted and what we have so far.

For full implementation of the Constitution to become a reality, Kenyans must embrace the letter and spirit of the Constitution in their minds and hearts. It is impossible to root out corruption without everyone’s participation.  You can show your zero tolerance to corruption through “small’ acts.

Corruption is destroying Kenya and its impact on our lives is evident from hospitals to our roads that have transformed into death traps. We elect people with questionable morals and complain afterwards.

Kenyans need to stop worshipping their leaders which makes them feel infallible and raise the bar of leadership. It is about time we borrow from other parts of the world like Thailand, China, Singapore and Malaysia. Where corruption is treated with the highest contempt and sternest actions including capital punishment.

Kazi Kwa Vijana Scandal

Posted by on 28th October 2011

Categories: Corruption

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa

It seems the phrase commonly used to describe the Kazi kwa Vijana (KKV) Project, “Kazi kwa Vijana, Pesa kwa Wazee” holds a lot of water. On Sunday this week, the papers revealed large-scale misappropriation of funds intended for the KKV project. The KKV project, launched in 2009, was intended to create employment for 200,000-300,000 Kenyans primarily youth at risk of hunger and starvation. A noble endeavour seeing as of the country’s 40% unemployment rate, youth unemployment constitutes 64%.

The KKV project falls under the Office of the Prime Minister and is heavily financed by the World Bank. Of the 4.3 billion shillings allocated to the project the World Bank has disbursed 971 million shillings to the government through the Office of the Prime Minister.  In June and July this year the World Bank’s financial management team conducted a review of all the project’s implementing agencies; the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, and Kenya Private Sector Alliance. The audit covered the period since project’s inception in 2009 to August 31, 2011. In the process the World Bank’s financial management team uncovered:

  • Weaknesses in the internal control procedures
  • Improper payment procedures
  • Transactions carried out without regard to policies and procedures
  • Irregular transactions in breach of legal agreements
  • Expenditures unrelated to the project

A few examples of the above include:

  • The hiring of the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister as the Director of Policy for the project. A role for which she received an enhanced salary and a top-up allowance while still on a government salary.
  • Ministry employees were paid sitting and meal allowances for activities that had nothing to do with the project.
  • Payments were made to participants of a National Youth Conference in Nairobi the audit report reveals that the conference never took place.
  • Though the financing agreement does not provide for payment of operating costs 80 million shillings was granted as government counterpart funds to meet operating costs, however the money was not used on the project. Furthermore, the auditors were unable to gain access to documentation showing how the funds were used.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg, the preliminary audit report details several other instances of misappropriation and mismanagement of funds, unaccounted for funds, and flouting of policy and procedure. It’s hardly surprising that the World Bank has termed the KKV project, high risk and vulnerable to graft, and is demanding a refund of the 971 million shillings already disbursed for the project.

In a statement issued to the press regarding the misappropriation of KKV funds, Dr Mohammed Isahakia Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister declared, “Some monies may have been used for purpose that were not consistent with KKV’s objectives or World Bank policies. It does not necessarily mean monies were stolen.”

Given the Prime Minister’s valiant calls for political accountability for graft in the past and the magnitude of the graft it is surprising that there has been no official statement from the Prime Minister himself considering that it is his Office that hosts the KKV project and he is the chair of KKV National steering committee.

The Auditor General’s Report 2009/2010, Will Anyone be Held to Account?

Posted by on 25th July 2011

Categories: Corruption

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

Having an independent Auditor General is clearly yielding results.  The Auditor General’s report for the financial year 2009/2010 was recently tabled before parliament and the irregularities just keep mounting. In the last two months the office of the Auditor General has revealed a myriad of faulty accounting practices, and missing or unaccounted for billions from various government ministries:

  • 4.2 billion from the Ministry of Education (Minister-Samuel Ongeri)
  • 3.6 billion from Ministry of Public Health (Minister-Beth Mugo),
  • 889 million from the Roads Ministry (Minister-Franklin Bett)
  • 743 million from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Formerly run by Moses Wetangula, currently Internal Security Minister Prof. George Saitoti is holding the Ministries brief)
  • 662 million from the Ministry of Internal Security Ministry (Minister – Prof. George Saitoti)
  • 408 million from Special Programmes  (Former Minister Naomi Shaban Current Minster Esther Murugi)
  • 196 million from the Ministry of Lands (Minister James Orengo)

*And this is not even a comprehensive list?!

**Ministers Franklin Bett (Roads) and Beth Mugo (Public Health) have dismissed the Auditor General findings.

The Auditor General reports also reveals that several ministries have an outstanding bill to suppliers of Kshs 16 billion. Named again are the Ministry of Roads, Education, Special Programmes, Provincial Administration and Internal Security other bill defaulters include Local Government Ministry, Public Works, Agriculture, Home Affairs. Irregularities have also been noted in the Ministry of Information and Communication.

No doubt we will be treated to the usual buck passing – from Minister to PS to subordinate staff and back again – that accompanies such revelations, promptly followed by denial of responsibility and refusals to resign. However lets hope that the report and the naming of the Ministries involved is the first step in establishing mechanisms that will prevent such pilferage from happening in the future, and holding those responsible to account.

Ministry of Education – Where does the buck stop?

Posted by on 8th July 2011

Categories: Corruption Ministries

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

In a statement issued by the Minister of Education responding to calls for his resignation he stated unequivocally that he could not compromise corruption with his political responsibility by resigning as minister, that he would be committing political suicide if resigned, he also took the opportunity to point out to his critics that he dealt only with paperwork and not cash.

The utterances made by the Minister are problematic on too many levels to enumerate. Even if the Minister dealt onlt  with paperwork and not cash as he stated, the ‘disappearance’ of more than 4billion Kshs over several years without detection could hardly have been a hard cash transaction and is one that is likely to have involved a significant amount of paper work and cover up.  Surely the sheer amounts of funds missing and the number of corruption scandals that have taken place in the Ministry under his watch call into account his ability to lead/oversee the running of the Ministry, and as the leader of the Ministry doesn’t the buck stop with him?

Since Chapter 6 of the constitution on leadership and integrity is the benchmark by to which we hold our leaders to account for their actions it could be successfully argued that the theft of 4.2 billion Kshs for free primary education under the Minister’s watch, means that he falls foul of both Article 73 (1)(a)(iv) of the constitution which states that authority assigned to a State officer is a public trust and requires that trust to be exercised in a manner that ‘promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office.’; and Article 73 (2) which states that the guiding principles of leadership and integrity include (c) selfless service based solely on the public interest (d) accountability to the public for decisions and actions.

From the continuing protests outside the minister’s Jogoo House offices and the increasing calls for his resignation by the public, the Minister in the exercise of his duties has failed to promote the public confidence in the integrity of the office and in fact has done the opposite. In his refusal to resign citing political suicide it could be called in to question whether he is indeed acting in selfless service based solely on the public interest? Further questions about accountability are raised when the minister passes the buck by stating that he deals with paperwork and not cash and that he is not responsible, if the Minister, who is in charge of the Ministry is not accountable for missing funds under his watch then who is?

Continued graft in the Ministry of Education

Posted by on 17th June 2011

Categories: Corruption

By Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

What is going on at the Ministry of Education? The amounts as well as the number of discrepancies in the Ministry’s accounts are startling not just because of the sheer enormity the missing/unaccounted for funds, and how long the graft has been going on. But more so because of the long-term implications of such impunity for

  • The children who depend on the public system for education, (which lets face it is most of the Kenyan population)
  • The teachers who are employed in the pubic school system and how they teach.
  • The taxpayers and the donors who pay for the public education system

According to the newspapers an audit conducted by the Ministry of Finance of the Ministry of Education shows:

‘Discrepancies totalling 2.27 billion shillings, which do not tally with the Ministry of Education records and bank account balances’

‘1.9 billion shillings failed to reached 512 primary schools for construction projects’

‘A further 3.1 million shillings was deposited in bank accounts for schools, which did not have teacher service commission codes implying that the schools were not officially recognised.’ The Minister of Finance has also indicated that identifiable individuals later withdrew amounts.

This is not the first time that the Ministry of Education has been implicated in grand corruption:

In 2009 there were reports that Kshs 1.3 million meant for Free Primary Education was misappropriated.  Kshs 75 million meant for the School Equipment Production Unit (SEPU) and Kshs. 83 million meant for Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP) programmes could not be accounted for.

In 2010 the Education Minister, Samuel Ongeri was suspended for 3 months over corruption allegations.

In 2010 United States government suspended a planned five-year, $7-million capacity building program for the Ministry of Education. In December of the same year the UK government announced that it was withholding a final installment of $16 million of a five-year education-funding program that began in 2005. In both cases the funding was pulled over allegations of corruption in the Education Ministry.

While calling for the resignation of the Minister for Education Samuel Ongeri and his Permanent Secretary Professor James Ole Kiyapi (who has expressed interest in running for president in 2012) to resign KACC Head, PLO Lumumba, notes that the Education Ministry currently has 18 corruption cases pending in the Kenya courts.

The Minister for Finance has stated that the forensic trail revealed an attempt to cover up the discrepancy through manipulation of the cash books and that evidence also reveals identifiable individual accounts into which the some of the funds have been funnelled.

Chapter 10 of the Constitution on leadership and integrity is more than just nice words. This audit represents that an opportunity for the government to put in place the appropriate checks, to hold the identified culprits to account, to ensure the return of funds especially where they can be traced and to implement punitive measures that deter and curtail such widespread impunity.

In the meantime it would be interesting to see the full audit report.

On the Okemo / Gichuru UK case

Posted by on 3rd June 2011

Categories: Corruption Members of Parliament

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa

One can only imagine what a roller coaster month its been for Nambale MP Chrysanthus ‘Chris’ Okemo and former KPLC head Samuel Gichuru.  On April 20, 2011 the Chief Justice of the Island of Jersey issued warrants of arrest against the two on charges of fraud and money laundering. The two were required to appear before the court in Jersey on May 5th 2011.  From the events that have transpired since, it safe to assume that neither appeared.

On Monday 23rd May 2011 Henry Bellingham the UK Minister for Africa met with Attorney General Amos Wako and requested the AG execute the warrants.  On the same day the AG handed the warrants of the arrest to recently reinstated Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko, to determine whether there is a case for extradition.   The MP Chris Okemo and Samuel Gichuru have been listed on Interpol’s online databases for having a red notices requesting the location and arrest of the two. (Red notices allow warrants to be circulated worldwide with the request wanted persons be arrested with a view to extradition.)

The DPP has stated , concerning the extradition,  that ‘the request to extradite the two Kenyans will be processed in accordance with our (Kenya’s) extradition laws and procedure and strictly in accordance with the due process of the law’ and the AG has said that he will only extradite the two if the DPP finds that the two have a case to answer in law.

Legally the two main requirements for extradition are an extradition treaty and that dual criminality exist. Dual criminality requires that in order for an extradition to be successful the crime in question must be a crime not only in the requesting country but also in the country where the person being extradited is residing at the time of the extradition request. The DPP will now look at the documents turned over to him and assess in law whether there is a case to answer.

The ball is firmly in the DPPs court as far as making the determination is concerned. It is worth noting that his reinstatement sparked controversy regarding his record of  prosecuting cases against leaders. It will be interesting to see what determination he will make given the fact extradition law and policy is vague and ill defined. Whatever decision the DPP makes the political implications will be powerful. What signals would Kenya be sending about its fight against corruption if it refused to extradite the two? Similarly would Kenya be giving mixed signals about the application of justice to the rich and powerful, and to poor? Remember the rendition of Kenyan suspects to Uganda.

Also, what are the implications for leadership? MP Chris Okemos is currently the chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee, and sits on the Parliamentary Service Commission considering the issue of warrants and the constitutional requirements concerning leadership and integrity will he resign these positions?

Depending on how the matter develops there may be implications for asset recovery, repatriation of misappropriated funds that are in accounts abroad and how wealth declaration by leaders is conducted.

Needless to say we are watching.

Missing Billions…

Posted by on 20th May 2011

Categories: Corruption

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

By now anyone  watching new or reading the newspaper knows of
the billions of shillings missing from/unaccounted for from the Treasury’s 2008/2009
budget. The Mars Group highlights deficiencies in the governments accounting systems
in its report ‘Revenue Accounting by the Government of Kenya: Unsatisfactory State
of Affairs.’ It highlights the fact that only 1 out 14 revenue accounts has been fully
certified, and uncertified revenue totals 714 billion shillings.

The never-ending corruption scandal government continues. It is no wonder that
Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Kenya as one of
the most corrupt countries in the world.

In December last year, the Ministry of Finance stated that the country is losing a third
of its national budget to corruption annually i.e. 4 billion shillings. From the reports on
corruption the amounts lost are probably much higher.

In the most recent scandal 105 billion shillings that is unaccounted for in the 2008/2009
budget. Both the Minister of Finance and the Assistant Minister had been censured
for failure to attend parliamentary sessions in which they were to issue a statement
in explanation. When the Assistant Minister did attended he stated that the matter
was under investigation by a parliamentary and therefore could not be discussed. A
response that is unsatisfactory but at the same time in keeping with status quo, in which
corruption scandals seems to met an unsatisfactory resolution, and in which there is
very little accountability…

Past scandals which still remain unresolved and in which billions or millions were lost;
Anglo Leasing Scandal in which 56.3 billion shillings lost, the 4 billion shilling Grand
Regency scandal; The Triton scandal that saw the unauthorised release of oil by Kenya
Pipeline Company and in which Triton was allowed by KPC to withdraw oil amounting
to Kshs. 7.6 billion, Goldenberg which cost more the 10% of the country’s annual GDP,
the irregular transfer of 10% of Telkom shares worth tens of million, the irregular
transaction in which government of Kenya sold its 50% stake in Safaricom in an IPO,
the theft of Kshs 300 billion by Moi and his cronies highlighted in the 110-page Kroll
Report, the missing funds for Free Primary Education, the scandal over the funds for
resettlement of internally displaced persons, the maize scandal in which no less than
four government ministries were implicated, and the list seems endless…

In all these scandal government ministries and by extension the people who run them
have been implicated very few prosecutions have taken place the few that have taken
place have been unsuccessful.  Its no wonder KACC wants corruption declared a national
disaster.

Hansard Highlights Week of February 13th, 2011

Posted by on 19th April 2011

Categories: Constituency News Corruption Hansard Hansard Analysis

Nominated MP Rachel Shebesh asked a crucial question given the disparity between the rhetoric how can
the women of Kenya take the government with regards to their commitment to the inclusion of
women?

PRIME MINISTERIAL STATEMENT: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW
CONSTITUTION: REALIZING DEVOLUTION

The Prime Minister (Mr. Raila): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to focus particularly on
devolution. I would like to make a brief statement on an area that I strongly feel that our country
needs to start giving some serious thought to as we prepare to implement priority areas of our
new Constitution.

One of the highlights of our new Constitution is the provision for the devolved system of
Government. The creation of the devolved Government is one of the far-reaching reforms in
our governance structure which if efficiently implemented, has the potential to enhance Kenya’s
stability and development.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reforms envisaged under devolution will have to be implemented in
a manner that is consistent and coordinated across the national Government. The transition needs
to be properly planned to avoid any disruption in the provision of essential Government services.
There are issues we need to start exercising our minds about if we are to make devolution a
success.

One of the requirements of the devolved Government is that one third of the seats in the County
Assembly and one third of the positions in the County Government will have to be occupied by
women. That is the law.

As I travel across the country, I get the feeling that this message has not sunk down enough and
very little sensitization is going on. Women have for long been relegated to the role of observers
in a political game dominated by men. Kenya’s politics has over the time become very masculine
and quite physical. It has also become a very expensive affair. Because of these two features, our
women have largely been locked out of politics.

Women supported this Constitution so wholeheartedly because it marked the beginning of their
long sought liberation. It guarantees that one third of all elected or appointed posts in Government
go to women. It binds political parties to pay special attention to gender parity, an obvious
departure from what has been the norm. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to make an appeal for
due attention to be paid to the provisions on women.

I feel the time has come for our institutions and our international supporters to embark on a
deliberate campaign of preparing women for the roles they have to take up, particularly in politics
in the coming elections. It is my belief that women’s entry into politics, with the desired numbers,
will see them make a mark in other areas of our economy and public life.

Mrs. Shebesh: Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Prime Minister has clearly stated that the provision
for one-third representation of either gender is now a Constitutional issue and that in the
process of implementation of the New Constitution; realizing devolution, this is an area that the
Government is taking very seriously.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am holding a petition that was given to the Speaker by 19 women
organizations over the recent appointments. How will Kenyan women take the Government
seriously when it is just giving lip service to the one-third affirmative action policy but not doing
it in practice? We are tired of lip service. Could the Prime Minister tell us concretely, in line
with the current appointments and continuous appointments that happen, where women must
always make noise— This is now a Constitutional matter. How can the women of Kenya take this
Government seriously on this issue?

2. The government has given is 1.5 billion shillings to constituencies and another 300 million
to financial institutions for the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) in Tharaka
constituency it turns youth were being asked to give money before they could access the funds
read the Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports response to this. It would be interesting
to know the experience of youth trying to access the YEDF in other constituencies.

DISBURSEMENT OF YEDF MONEY IN THARAKA CONSTITUENCY

Mr. Mwiru: asked the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs:-
(a) How much funds have been disbursed to Tharaka by the Youth Enterprise Development
Fund (YEDF) through the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme (C-YES) and financial
institutions (FIs); and,
(b) Whether he could table a list of financial institutions involved in the disbursement of
funds as well as the list of beneficiaries, whether individual or group(s), since inception
of the Fund.

The Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports (Ms. Ndeti): (a) The YEDF has disbursed
a total of Kshs9.8 million to Tharaka. Out of that amount, Kshs2 million has been disbursed
through the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme (C-YES) and Kshs7.8 million has been
disbursed through the financial institutions. The YEDF has partnered with three financial
intermediaries that are present in Tharaka. They are South Imenti Credit Company, Business
Initiatives and Management Assistance Service (BIMAS) and Kenya Women Finance Trust.

Mr. Mwiru: Mr. Speaker, Sir, in 2009, one of the financial institutions mentioned here, the
South Imenti Credit Company, started collecting money in form of savings from the youth of that
area. That exercise was supposed to encourage the youth to get loans from them. I would like to
know whether it is a Government policy for the youth to pay Government institutions before they
secure a loan.

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, money from YEDF is supposed to be given to the youth to
enable them start their own businesses. We are trying to help the youth. So, I do not see how
an institution would ask the youth to save money so that they can use the money that the
Government has set aside for them. I assure the hon. Member, who mentioned the matter to me
last week, that we are looking into it as a Ministry. I want to give him comfort that this time
round, we have given out Kshs1.5 billion to constituencies and only Kshs300 million to banks
and other financial intermediaries.

Mr. Chepkitony: Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like the Assistant Minister to tell this
House how much interest is charged when money is disbursed through the CYES and financial
intermediaries. How much do those two institutions charge as interest?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the banks are supposed to charge a minimal interest of about 8
per cent. The Fund gives loans to these intermediaries at 1 per cent interest rate. They use the
7 per cent difference to cover administration costs and mitigate losses that may arise from the
clientele, which are perceived as a risk. The intermediary should shoulder 100 per cent risk of this
component and can lead up to Kshs1 million.

Mr. Langat: Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Fund is meant to help the youth in our constituencies.

Unfortunately, there is no sensitization of the youth in the constituencies on how these funds can
be obtained. Could the Assistant Minister tell us what they have been doing to sensitize the youth
on the existence of this Fund?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have already employed two youths from every constituency
to work with the youth on the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. From the end of last year,
we have been going around the country, county by county, with the Minister and the Assistant
Minister, to sensitize the youth on the importance of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. I
can assure you we are on the ground and we are giving our employees motorbikes, so that they
can access all the areas in their constituencies.

Mr. Wambugu: Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed, if the Youth Enterprise Development
Fund is used properly, it can help alleviate poverty in the rural areas. Who comprises the
committee that sit at the constituency and who nominates the members to those committees?
What part is the Member of Parliament supposed to play in the running of this Fund?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Member of Parliament should be the patron. The
Fund is under the District Youth Officers. If it is within a council, the Town Clerk runs the Fund.
I am prepared to provide a list of the names of the members of the committees.

Dr. Kones: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that the Ministry has employed
some youths. I know that these youths were taken as interns on contract basis. Does the Ministry
intend to employ them on permanent basis?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are trying to create employment for the youth. It is better for
us to start taking them as interns while looking at the long-term when we can employ them
on permanent basis. We have created more than 420 jobs for the youth of this country in our
Ministry.

Mr. Mwiru: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have a scenario where the youth are paying money to these
institutions that I have mentioned. Will it be possible for the Ministry to ask these institutions to
refund this money to the youth? They have suffered so much and they are not getting the loans.

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are going to look into the Member’s complaints against these
financial institutions. I want to assure him that we are there for the youth and we will not allow
anyone to take money from the youth.