CS Waig­uru helped me at NYS-Kabura

Busi­ness­woman un­able to ex­plain where she took Sh52m in cash.

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - BY JAMES MBAKA @onchir­im­baka

An eva­sive Josephine Kabura, chief con­duit in the Sh791 NYS scan­dal, yes­ter­day told MPs for­mer De­vo­lu­tion CS Anne Waig­uru helped her se­cure multi-mil­lion ten­ders through sin­gle sourc­ing.

Kabura was de­clared a hos­tile wit­ness who tes­ti­fied un­der threat of ar­rest.

She once again named Waig­uru as the ar­chi­tect of the scam who knew what was go­ing on all along and mis­led po­lice when they started in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Kabura was in­ter­ro­gated for about nine hours, four of them in cam­era at her re­quest. She said she feared for her life if some of her rev­e­la­tions were made pub­lic. That hear­ing ended at 6.30pm.

She had a hard time ex­plain­ing how she moved Sh100 mil­lion in cash and said it was easy, she car­ried it in sacks and went back and for to cars.

Kabura also had dif­fi­culty ex­plain­ing in pub­lic how her 20 com­pa­nies, which were not pre-qual­i­fied, so eas­ily won ma­jor ten­ders, how she got start-up cap­i­tal, why she had so many com­pa­nies, how much money she de­liv­ered and to whom.

MPs be­came im­pa­tient and frus­trated with her an­swers in pub­lic.

In court, Kabura faces 15 counts of money laun­der­ing, charges of fraud and re­lated of­fences in­volv­ing Na­tional Youth Ser­vice, along with other sus­pects.

In the pub­lic por­tion of the hear­ing, the com­posed wit­ness weath­ered a bar­rage of ques­tions and re­peated that she did clean busi­ness with NYS.

Kabura, once Waig­uru’s hair­dresser, wore a black jacket and grey dress. She is now de­scribed as an IT ex­pert.

Ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments pre­sented to the com­mit­tee, Kabura reg­is­tered and sin­gle-high­hand­edly ran 20 sole pro­pri­etor­ships that col­lec­tively re­ceived Sh1.6 bil­lion from NYS.

None of the 20 busi­nesses paid tax on their earn­ings and no tax re­turns were filed, Kabura said.

Be­hind closed doors, she re­vealed con­fi­den­tial de­tails re­gard­ing some of the peo­ple to whom she gave money and their roles, the Star hs learnt.

In pub­lic, Kabura was un­able to re­call or pro­duce ev­i­dence of any­one who sup­plied her with goods and to whom she paid mil­lions of shillings.

Kabura said she worked closely with Waig­uru.

“I have no blood re­la­tion­ship with Waig­uru but I know Waig­uru. I met her in April 2012 and she in­tro­duced me to NYS and that is how I got my jobs,” Kabura told the Nicholas Gumbo-led Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee.

She had avoided ap­pear­ing be­fore the com­mit­tee. Her lawyers cited her busy sched­ule at­tend­ing court as the rea­son she could not at­tend and said she would be avail­able in mid-Novem­ber.

But when the com­mit­tee de­cided to ask po­lice IG Joseph Boin­net ar­rest her and pro­duce her in Par­lia­ment, she and her lawyers be­came com­pli­ant.

Kabura told the com­mit­tee she holds a di­ploma and higher di­ploma in IT from KCA Univer­sity, for­merly known as a col­lege of ac­count­ing. Waig­uru ini­tially de­scribed her as her hair­dresser.

She was was hard pressed to con­vince the com­mit­tee how she eas­ily man­aged to win the ten­ders, es­pe­cially be­cause her com­pa­nies were not pre-qual­i­fied.

Her com­pa­nies were paid Sh1.6 bil­lion of the Sh1.8 bil­lion looted from the NYS, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments tabled be­fore the com­mit­tee.

Kabura, ac­cord­ing to a spe­cial au­dit by the Au­di­tor Gen­eral, was set to re­ceive Sh695.4 mil­lion from the NYS be­fore the alarm was raised and the fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tion stopped.

He said Kabura was the chief ben­e­fi­ciary of the scan­dal and 11 of her com­pa­nies re­ceived Sh1.3 bil­lion.

Form Homes Builders, Re­in­forced Con­crete Tech­nolo­gies, Roof and All

Trad­ing and Smart Board are among her com­pa­nies that reaped NYS funds.

Kabura told MPs her con­tact within the NYS pro­cure­ment depart­ment was key in pro­cess­ing the ten­ders, which she nei­ther quoted nor ten­dered for. Her com­pa­nies were not pre-qual­i­fied by the De­vo­lu­tion min­istry and the state-owned Sup­plies branch.

Yes­ter­day, she was ac­com­pa­nied by her lawyer Franklin Omimo, whom she fre­quently con­sulted.

She told the com­mit­tee she was is­sued with Lo­cal Pur­chase Or­ders to sup­ply goods at the height of the mega scan­dal. These were smoothly han­dled and ex­e­cuted with­out a for­mal con­tract, Kabura said.

Kabura said she worked with Home Sys­tems, a sub­sidiary of Kenya Data Net­work, from 2006 while she also sup­plied IT-re­lated prod­ucts be­fore she re­signed to ven­ture into busi­ness.

The wit­ness tes­ti­fied she owns20 com­pa­nies that ben­e­fit­ted from NYS con­tracts but had only reg­is­tered five by the time she started do­ing busi­ness with the state.

MPs ques­tioned her mo­tive in reg­is­ter­ing many com­pa­nies to siphon pub­lic funds.

“I reg­is­tered the rest while at the NYS for ten­der­ing,” she said. “I reg­is­tered so many com­pa­nies to in­crease my chances of get­ting busi­ness from the gov­ern­ment and many other com­pa­nies out there.”

Asked how she raised ini­tial cap­i­tal, when her bank bal­ance was Sh650, Kabura said she got soft loans from friends and used “small” sav­ings. The busi­ness­woman was hard pressed to ex­plain how she was able to move Sh100 mil­lion she with­drew in cash from the bank to pay her stone quarry “sup­pli­ers”.

“How did you trans­port the money? I mean Sh100 mil­lion is the same as 100kg of ce­ment. How were you able to carry that? Are you able to carry five, 20-litre jer­ri­cans,” chair­man Gumbo asked.

Kabura replied that she car­ried the money in bags and in turns from the bank with­out any se­cu­rity, all the way to Ron­gai to pay quarry own­ers.

“I car­ried the money safely, I could take one bag at a time to a car in the same build­ing and then trans­port it to pay sup­pli­ers,” she said. “Be­cause work was go­ing on day and night, I needed to have cash all the time.”

The com­mit­tee re­jected her ex­pla­na­tion af­ter she failed to pro­duce ev­i­dence of proof to so-called sup­pli­ers.

She said she could also not rec­ol­lect the names of the sup­pli­ers and how much each re­ceived. She said she could not re­mem­ber what hap­pened two long years ago.

“NYS sourced the quarry and was pro­vid­ing lor­ries to trans­port ma­te­ri­als from Ron­gai. My work was to pay the quarry own­ers for the ma­te­ri­als,” she said.

But Ka­ji­ado North MP Joseph Manje said it was un­true that mil­lions were spent at the quarry in his con­stituency.

“One lorry goes for Sh2,500, Sh1 mil­lion means that 400 lor­ries were in­volved. This is false be­cause if that money was put there, as area MP I would feel the in­flu­ence,” he said.

Kabura ad­mit­ted lend­ing her “friend”, ex-KCB driver John Kago, Sh60 mil­lion cash with­out se­cu­rity.

/ JACK OWUOR

Par­lia­men­tary Ac­counts Com­mit­tee Chair­man Nicholas Gumbo dur­ing Kabura’s tes­ti­mony yes­ter­day in the Sh791m NYS scan­dal, at Par­lia­ment Build­ings

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.