Sh89.5m payment sees Ex-EACC boss probed - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Sh89.5m payment sees Ex-EACC boss probed

Jennifer Kimani

Former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission finance director Jennifer Kimani is now at the centre of investigations by the watchdog over payments of Sh89.5 million that she authorised while working for the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA).
The payments were made in 2016 to two firms that had not done business with the agency.
Ms Kimani’s contract with the EACC was not renewed when it lapsed on June 30. Before joining the EACC as finance and planning director, she was a finance manager at KeRRA.
The EACC started the investigations when Ms Kimani was still a director.
On Tuesday, the agency confirmed to the Nation that the investigations were behind the decision not to renew Ms Kimani’s contract.
The money allegedly embezzled from KeRRA was meant for the agency’s regional offices but instead ended up in private hands. KeRRA’s head office generated payment vouchers and filled in money transfer forms from its KCB account.
The physical payment vouchers and forms used for the money transfer from one bank to another all indicate accounts operated by KeRRA’s regional offices. But when the vouchers were uploaded to the agency’s disbursement system, the bank’s account numbers had been changed.
The documents were uploaded to Qpay, an online finance management system used by government institutions for authorising such payments, by a KeRRA employee identified as Mr Benson Ronoh. But all the files he uploaded had the wrong bank account number.
Laptops owned by Ms Kimani, then KeRRA finance general manager Peter Rutto and accountant Dan Manyasi were seized and given to forensic experts to comb for evidence.
Detectives found that the email sent to KCB instructing it to pay Cowford General Contractors and Countrywide Chemfert Enterprises was from Ms Kimani’s Gmail address, not her office account.
They also discovered that altered documents originated from Ms Kimani’s computer.
The money was wired to Cowford and Countrywide Chemfert on the strength of the altered soft copy forms.
EACC boss Mr Mbarak yesterday said ….
Investigations have now revealed that Cowford is owned by businessman Stephen Kingara Ndungu and his sister, Beatrice Ngendo Ndungu.
Mr Ndungu also owns Countrywide Chemfert, alongside his wife Eunice Wangeci Nyawira. Peter Njubi Wanja is listed as the firm’s agent authorised to transact over the counter withdrawals and statement collection.
Both firms operate accounts at KCB, where the money was deposited.
Cowford and Countrywide Chemfert were paid through eight vouchers that mirrored the Sh11 billion National Youth Service (NYS) scandals.
The NYS scandals saw genuine suppliers overlooked, with their payment vouchers duplicated and their dues wired to companies that had not done business with the institution

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