Former Prime Minister H E Rt Hon Raila Odinga on Thursday had a seven-hour meeting with South Sudan President Salva Kiir in what seems to usher in his full-blown role as an African Union special envoy, and an official representative of Kenya in the negotiations to end civil strife in the troubled country.
It was his first formal role after the historic March 9 handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta, sealed on the steps of Harambee House, Nairobi.
Mr Odinga, accompanied by his lawyer Paul Mwangi and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, took a 7am Kenya Airways flight to Juba for the talks with Mr Kiir that ended at around 5pm.
Next week, Mr Odinga will travel to South Africa to meet former South Sudan vice-president Riek Machar, the ace of the other half of the new country’s ugly conflict
Details of the meeting emerged as Mr Odinga promised to use the handshake to tackle increasing corruption scandals in government, even as a 14-member implementation team developed a timeline, projecting that it would take them six months to produce a report on the initiative.
In episodes resembling a movie in a banana republic, Business tycoon Jimmy Wanjigi and a great friend of late Jacob Juma has narrated how gunmen almost killed him yesterday at gunpoint. The Raila financier claimed gunmen armed to the teeth attacked his moving car and stole valuables including a laptop with top secrets.
“Masked men in military gear have bombarded my car and my security convoy at gunpoint at Parklands Drive, stolen my documents, my briefcase & a laptop. As if not enough they’ve taken all my LICENCED firearms wth no search warrant. This comes shortly after I vowed to Expose KIBICHO”,he said in a Tweet
Wanjigi was heading his Runda home when he was attacked.
The son of former Minister has been at logger heads with Uhuru Kenyatta and Jubilee administration especially after he vowed to support Raila Odinga until he became president. Last year, his Runda home was raided and destroyed completely. He later ironed the differences with the state but it appears to be all lost after this new revenge attack.
At least six banks used in the transaction of the estimated Sh9 billion NYS proceeds risk Sh20 million fine by Central Bank if found guilty of flouting industry regulations.
According the star, the banking regulator is tightening the noose on banks that transacted money looted from the National Youth Service without following the strict prudential guidelines.
It emerged that some of the banks targeted in wide-ranging investigations allowed their clients to withdraw bulk cash, without justification as required under the CBK rules.
Some of the companies under probe are said to have opened accounts a few hours before the NYS money was credited, signalling complicity, complacency or negligence that aided fraud.
While withdrawing cash over the counter is not illegal, the industry regulator has stringent guidelines on such transactions when the amount involved exceeds Sh1 million.
The regulations on more than a million withdrawal were issued in 2016 to stem money laundering. It was issued following brazen theft of billions of shillings from NYS, in the initial scam in which taxpayers lost over Sh1.6 billion.
“This new guideline aims to reduce the risk inherent with cash transactions, such as losses due to fraud and theft. We encourage you to consider use of electronic payments, which are an alternative and secure channel,” CBK said in the statement dated February 16, 2016.
Under the regulations, a customer is required to fill a mandatory cash withdrawal form stating where the money is being taken and the use.
Among the questions that must be answered include: why the large cash deposit or withdrawal is necessary, why it cannot be done through electronic means, the source of the funds as well as the full identity of the intended beneficiaries.
The regulations, which were designed to curb money laundering in the country, also require a client to disclose where the money will be taken immediately after leaving the bank premises.
However, it could appear that the six banks cited in relation with the movement of the NYS cash deliberately failed to ensure their clients adhered to the rules, raising suspicions that the could have been conduits in the mega scam.
Yesterday the Star established that CBK had swung into action and was already inspecting more than 50 suspicious transactions through the six banks, with a view to nailing culprits for prosecution.
A source at the CBK said it is in the process of examining the movement of money from the NYS coffers into the accounts of various firms associated with the architects of the scam.
CBK is also examining if the concerned banks flagged the suspicious transactions and, if not, why they failed to report to the Financial Reporting Centre as required under anti-money laundering laws.
After targetted inspections of some banks suspected to have violated prudential guidelines, the CBK will enforce sanctions against them.
Last July CBK enhanced penalties for banks, mortgage companies and credit reference bureaus to a maximum of Sh20 million for every violation arising out of non-compliance with the Banking Act and Prudential Guidelines.
The regulations were meant to bring into force the Finance Act of 2016 that increased the fines for violation of the laws from the previous Sh5 million.
As the CBK stepped up their probe into the NYS scam, the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee said it would summon the banks involved in the massive transaction of NYS proceeds.
At the height of the first NYS scandal, CBK admitted it had fined three commercial banks Sh1 million each for allowing the withdrawal of huge sums of money over the counter by a business person linked to the fraud.
CBK also forced the sacking of nine top managers at Family Bank, where the bulk of the money stolen from the National Youth Service was paid to Josephine Kabura, the businesswoman at the centre of that scandal.
Four other managers at Sidian Bank (formerly K-Rep), underwent a ‘fit and proper test’, while Faulu Microfinance managers involved in the NYS transactions were also vetted.
Then, Parliament summoned 22 banks adversely mentioned in the scam after key suspects, among them Kabura, admitted to having carted away in sacks millions from the banks.
Yesterday PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi said the watchdog was properly seized of the matter and had began probing the misuse of public funds at NYS.
“This is a complex matter. We have already started with principal actors. We shall then move to beneficiaries, Treasury and those people in charge of IFIMIS (Integrated Financial Management Information System), as well as the banks that transacted proceeds,” Ugunja MP said.
He said the fraud was well-planned and executed by senior officials at the NYS, the ministry and the Treasury in an intricate web that included bank managers.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations is already probing the scam and about 40 suspects, among them directors of the beneficiary companies, are lined up for interrogation.
Sources said at least 18 people representing traders and government officials have already been questioned by a multi-agency team over the scandal.
Detectives are scrutinising documents from all NYS departments in Nairobi and other parts of the country to establish whether the law was followed in the award of tenders and if goods and services against which payments were made were actually supplied.
On Monday evening, suspended NYS director general Richard Ndubai and PS Lilian Mbogo Omollo were questioned. They are are said to have denied claims that Sh9 billion had been irregularly paid to phony companies and traders.
Omollo told investigators that the report credited to the National Intelligence Service alleging that Sh8 billion had been lost was incorrect. She said only Sh900 million expenditure required scrutiny.
Omollo said the total amount against the 13 vouchers paid by the agency was Sh121 million.
She said Sh8.8 billion was paid out to suppliers in the two financial years in two batches of Sh6.2 billion and Sh2.67 billion.
Ndubai also recorded a statement and presented volumes of documents to support payments dating back to 2011.
During the same period under scrutiny FY2016-17, NYS rejected claims of 139 suppliers amounting to Sh3.67 billion.
Another 98 suppliers had their requests for payment rejected, while another 179 claims amounting to Sh1 billion are yet to be honored, Ndubai told police.
Their explanation seems to match their earlier position when they appeared before a parliamentary committee investigating the same matter.
NYS staff were required to submit copies of payment vouchers, delivery notes and all documents relating to procurement
Suppliers were required to present documents on payment and proof they supplied goods or services for which they received payments.
Among those who appeared before investigators yesterday were NYS head of supply chain Stephen Mwendwa and his deputy, Eliud Koome.
Shocking revelations of the NYS theft show that suspects rushed to withdraw money in cash immediately their accounts were credited in a mega scam. Senior bank managers are suspected of complicity by deliberately flouting prudential guidelines.
Some banks allowed their clients to withdraw bulk money exceeding Sh1 million which requires customers to provide particulars of the transaction.
The payment process would be initiated from the NYS head office, then the Ministry of Youth headquarters would okay it before Treasury would allow the money to leave government coffers right to banks where it would be withdrawn within hours of hitting designated accounts.
Deported opposition activist Miguna Miguna has opened a new war front with his political mentor, Mr Raila Odinga, accusing him of abandoning him at his greatest hour of need and allegedly presenting a “fake picture to Kenyans that he is a statesman”.
In a scathing audio message from Canada on Sunday, Mr Miguna also poked holes in the unity deal between Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying it is only a matter of time before it collapses, given the history of “shared cynicism” the two have towards the citizenry.
However, it is his outrage against Mr Odinga, who last week accused the fiery lawyer of being his own worst enemy, that is likely to stoke the political fires even more. Mr Miguna accused the former prime minister of political dictatorship and intolerance, and building “an edifice of political impunity within ODM where his word is like a fiat, or even the 10 commandments of God”.
“He does not want a system that would encourage ability, merit and integrity to be the foundations of leadership,” said Mr Miguna, his apparent disdain for the opposition leader made worse by Mr Odinga’s assertion in London last week that he (Mr Miguna) had refused to cooperate with Immigration officials when he was deported from the country for the second time in March.
REINSTATE HIS CITIZENSHIP
“What did Raila do?” he posed, challenging the ODM leader to come clean on the efforts, if any, he has made to pressure the government to allow him back into the country and reinstate his citizenship.
“He talks as if he was detained with me (yet) he came to JKIA drunk as a skunk. He could not even speak. He was incoherent. He couldn’t even stand on his two feet.”
Mr Odinga did not respond to the claims, apparently on the strength of the advice of his party’s communication director, Mr Philip Etale, who cautioned him not to respond to Mr Miguna as “he is a man not worth his time”.
The self-declared general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) said many Kenyans who support his quest for electoral and social justice still question Mr Odinga’s wisdom in abandoning his reforms crusade and joining hands with the government.
The “reconciliation” betrays the principles for which the NRM was established, which is to fight for electoral justice, social justice, the protection of and respect for the Constitution, respect for the rule of law, and the independence of the Judiciary, he added.
The ODM leader, according to Mr Miguna, betrayed the reforms cause, and so his ‘Building the Bridges’ initiative with the Jubilee government was “a myth that does little to address the country’s political challenges.
“We’re not scared of them (Raila and Kenyatta) and we will confront the culture of impunity head-on,” he said.
“The myth about reconciliation is going nowhere because it is a manipulative, deceitful and fraudulent act by two individuals to save their skin. They are not visionary leaders and they must be opposed by Kenyans of goodwill.”
President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have selected a 14-member team of advisers to oversee the implementation of their peace pact. The team is due to start its sittings in the first week of June.
But Mr Miguna thinks that by agreeing to work with Jubilee and targeting the leadership of NRM, Mr Odinga is helping to build “a dynastic, elite-based leadership” to defeat political justice.
The fiery lawyer was accused of treason for his role in commissioning the mock swearing-in of Mr Odinga as the “people’s president” in January, and on February 6 was deported after being held incommunicado for five days. He was kicked out again in March when he tried to re-enter the country, and he says President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga should demonstrate willingness to change by allowing him back.
“If the mythical bridges mean anything, we would like to see whether the rule of law is going to be upheld, whether the Constitution is going to be adhered to strictly, and if court orders are going to be obeyed,” he said, referring to orders that he be issued with a Kenyan passport and allowed to return to the country.
National Resistance Movement (NRM) general Miguna Miguna has written a hard-hitting letter to National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga.
In the letter, the firebrand lawyer accuses Odinga of abandoning Kenyans and his supporters, who even sacrificed their lives in the fight against electoral injustice.
The former Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant further faults Odinga’s move to seek peace with President Kenyatta, terming it a betrayal to millions of his supporters, who bestowed trust on him to liberate them from Jubilee “despots.” Miguna Miguna later wrote another post on facebook to Raila Odinga: If I committed TREASON for swearing you in, why haven’t you been arrested, detained and exiled like me? Why haven’t I been taken to court? If your HANDCHEQUE with Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to “reconcile” Kenyans, why am I not in Kenya? Be honest with Kenyans.
Here is Miguna Miguna’s letter to Odinga:
I risked my own life, my family’s security and careers to swear you in on January 30, 2018.
As a result, my house was destroyed with detonators and vandalized. I was abducted at gunpoint, detained incommunicado and tortured for five days. It was only on the fifth day – February 5th – that you attended court at Milimani and spoke out against my incommunicado detention. Why had you not spoken out earlier?
After the Jubilee despots forced me into exile on February 6, 2018, you have not publicly condemned them. You have not publicly supported me.
On February 6 and 7, 2018, the Jubilee despots murdered 3 young men at Ahero town in Kisumu county. What was their crime? Protesting against my incommunicado detention and forced exile. The People’s President whom I had sworn in less than two weeks before then never uttered a word. You seemed to believe that those lives didn’t matter.
Despite promising to repair the damage in my house, you have not done so. A few days after I arrived in Toronto, you told me that you would publicly launch a “Bring Miguna Back” campaign. You have not done so. What prevented you from fighting for my rights like I had fought and sacrificed myself for yours?
You also promised to have my advocates paid their fees and disbursements. However, when Dr. Khaminwa met you last week – before your handshake with Uhuru Kenyatta – you not only refused to pay him and the other advocates, you asked him to abandon my cases.
This isn’t just about me. It’s also about the 18 young men who were shot dead as they shielded you from police bullets on November 17, 2017. It’s about Baby Pendo, Baby Moraa, Master Mutinda, Chris Msando, Odhiambo Mbai, Okong’o Arara and more than 1,000 people who have been murdered as they defended you both personally and in pursuit of justice for all Kenyans.
Have you spared even one minute to remember them and the cause for which they died; the reasons for which they sacrificed their lives for you? It was you who rejected the results of the presidential election of August 8, 2017. It was you who called on your supporters to protest against the egregious electoral fraud that had been perpetrated by Jubilee.
It was you who called for protests against the IEBC and in pursuit of electoral justice. It was because of you that more than 380 innocent civilians- mostly Luos – were butchered like chicken after the August 8th election. Yet, barely one and a half months after your swearing in, you are trying to persuade us that more than 1,000 innocent lives we have lost trying to obtain electoral justice for you and the country, don’t matter.
You have just miraculously discovered that Uhuru Kenyatta is your brother and he is more valuable than all of us who stood by you! You didn’t even bother to consult or inform us that you were meeting Uhuru behind our backs as we risked our lives swearing you in on January 30th.
And in your handshake with Uhuru you were accompanied by your daughter, Winnie, and your personal lawyer, Paul Mwangi. You didn’t even bother to go with an official of the ODM or NASA.
Clearly you believe that your personal interests supersede that of the country and Kenyans.
Your handshake with Uhuru wasn’t about peace or national reconciliation as the two of you claimed. If it was, you would have consulted widely and informed key people in your organizations. At the very minimum, you would have advised those who risked their lives for you on January 30th.
Jakom, you have finally demonstrated to the people of Kenya that you don’t care about them. You have abandoned them for the despots when the latter were weaker than they have been for five years and when our side was stronger.
Apparently, you and Uhuru are more scared of me and the NRMKe. You both fear structural changes that we are fighting for. You both prefer to preside over an unjust, unequal and brutal state. You have joined the despots!
Thank you for finally exposing yourself to the people.