The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986


Monday October 29, 2018

Information Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and his National Treasury counterpart, Mr Henry Rotich, are among the senior government officers to be probed by a parliamentary committee over the loss of Sh2.5 billion at the Government Advertising Agency (GAA).
Their Principal Secretaries Fatuma Mohamed (Broadcasting and Telecommunications) and Kamau Thugge (Treasury) will also be probed.

This comes as Lugari MP Ayub Savula, former Broadcasting and Telecommunications PS Sammy Itemere, and former GAA boss Dennis Chebitwey are expected to be charged today with the theft of Sh122.3 million on the recommendation of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Noordin Haji.

But Mr Itemere said he acted in good faith when approving the payments. “I have not been issued with any directive to report to the DCI. If anything, I will report tomorrow (today) at 7.30am,” he said yesterday, noting that, contrary to media reports, he has not been on the run. He added that he has been part of the investigations, but would not comment, “until my lawyer tells me otherwise".

The DPP has also recommended that 20 other suspects be charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, abuse of office, obtaining money by pretences, making a document without authority, and helping in the commission of a felony.
Marakwet West MP William Kisang, who chairs the National Assembly Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation, told the Nation that the CSs and PSs will be summoned once National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai approves his request.

“The probe will not stop merely because some individuals have been arrested and charged in court. We are an independent arm just like the Executive and Judiciary, and we intend to go the full hog on this matter,” Mr Kisang said. 
“We had already done letters for them to appear, but when I spoke to the CS (Mucheru), he told me that about seven DCI officers were combing files at the ministry. I realised that it was only proper for us to let them finish because we did not want to appear to be interfering with their work,” he said.

He said the initial idea was to find out why GAA had not paid media houses billions of shillings for services rendered, but yesterday he said that the committee will seek to establish how dummy companies were created and fraudulently paid millions of shillings.

Some of the companies had names similar to those of existing media houses and publications, and were paid once disbursements to genuine service providers were approved. For instance, about Sh21 million was paid between November 2017 and June this year to an entity variously referred to as The Star Publication, Star Publications and Star Publications Ltd. Another Sh2 million was paid to Liaison Media, which in other entries is shown as Liaison Media Nairobi. 
The Sunday Publishers received Sh28 million, and is shown as The Sunday Publication Ltd while Xtra publishing Ltd, which received Sh5 million, is listed as Xtra Publishers Ltd in some schedules. The Sunday Publishers, which produces the Sunday Express, said it has no links with The Sunday Publications Ltd.

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