President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua and top officials of the National Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya top the list of ‘persons of interest’ that opposition leader Raila Odinga wants nailed for the “missing” billions in the Eurobond saga.
Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, Mr Odinga said Kinyua, Treasury’s Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, the principal secretary Kamau Thugge, CBK chairman Mohammed Nyaoga, former CBK governor Njuguna Ndung’u, accountant-general Bernard Ndung’u and CBK’s financial markets director John Birech and his financial management colleague Moses Muthui owed Kenyans an explanation on how the Sh250 billion bond was spent.
The opposition leader, who was honouring his three-day ultimatum to give names, said the officials had to be charged of negligence.
Odinga alleged the documents of remittances of the money into the country were forged and insisted that nearly half the amount – Sh102 billion—never made it into the country.
At a time when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has already asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to close the file and ask the Auditor General for a forensic audit on the Eurobond billions, the opposition chief slammed the local institutions for lacking the capacity to unearth official theft of public funds.
“The scheme is so elaborate, so thick and so reckless that we believe these officers acted for or on instructions from bosses higher up the Executive ladder. Your guess is as good as mine on who the owners of the plot really are,” said Raila.
Mr Odinga asked President Kenyatta to seek global help independent international Forensic Audit like the UK’s Serious Fraud Office to completely track and trace the whereabouts of Sh 102 billion ($999 million) of the Eurobond Proceeds that were not paid into the Consolidated Fund.
The opposition chief now demands that Rotich, Thugge and Mr Bernard Ndungu to resign immediately and be arraigned in court for committing the following acts or omissions undermining the Constitution by refusing to deposit the Eurobond proceeds immediately and in full into the Consolidated Fund.
Odinga also wants the trio nailed for concocting documents to cover up a massive loss of Public Funds and for deliberately misleading the Public Accounts Committee and taxpayers that the Eurobond Proceeds were paid in full into the Consolidated Fund.
Odinga also wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare the Eurobond matter a National Disaster, invite Serious Fraud Unit to investigate where the money went terming it ‘theft in an elaborate scheme led by the Kenyan government.
He said that the National Treasury has been engaged in an elaborate scheme of deception intended to mislead the Kenya taxpayers that the proceeds of the Eurobond were deposited into the Consolidated Fund, even where there is clear evidence to the contrary.
“The National Treasury did not pay immediately into the Consolidated Fund, the Full Amount of the Net Proceeds of the Sovereign Bond of Sh 173 .9 billion (US$1.9billion) which were received on June 24, 2014,” claimed Raila.
US banks mix
According to Odinga, $999 million of the proceeds from the Eurobond was transferred from the government’s account with JP Morgan Chase in New York to one with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Sept 8, 2014, according to transfer receipts.
He claims the money has not shown up in auditor reports for the last two years and that it was never deposited in the government’s public funds account.
Odinga also called on US banks to give a full account of the funds and prove that they were “not part of this grand theft.”
Odinga hasn’t quite proven to the public that the funds were stolen in what he claims is “an international money laundering” scheme, but neither has Kenyatta’s administration proven that the Eurobond—intended to lower interest rates, reduce inflation, and raise funds for infrastructure projects like geothermal plants, expanded airports, or a railway between Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa— has been a success.