By Ridempta Muthoni
Bottomline: It is not normal for a strange looking people to buy all the copies of Business Daily from all the vendors in the Central Business District by 5am there were no copies in Nairobi.
The Ethics and Anti –Corruption Commission (EACC) formed an investigation team to unearth the Shilling 5.3 Billion scam in the Ministry of Health, a normal narrative Kenyans are used to after every scandal. This was after a draft report by internal auditors to the Auditor General leaked to the Nation Media Group .EACC deputy CEO, Michael Mubea, led a team of eight detectives to an office on the 6th floor, in Afya House. He however didn’t address journalists over the issue.
Senior government officials ganged up and tried to transfer Mr. Bernard Muchere an experienced auditor who had worked in the public service for 30 years, 26 of them as an auditor after he unearthed the Sh5 billion scandal at the Ministry. Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri spearheaded the initiative in a letter addressed to the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich which wasn’t copied to his Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopa Mailu. Claiming that more senior auditors were needed to carry out a comprehensive audit process a move that was backed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich. This did not materialize as Mr. Muchere, who was leading the audit at the Ministry stayed put.
The Principal Secretary is on record to have threated the Business Daily journalist after the Ksh 5 billion expose after the newspaper had reported showing how the money was stolen by the ministry’s officials through manipulation of the Integrated Financial Management Information System. Muraguri further claimed that the government can get into newsrooms systems and see what they write before it is published in an effort to intimidate the journalist. He later apologized for his action to both the Nation Media Group and The Kenya Union Of Journalists.
Thousands of copies of the Business Daily were bought off the streets of Nairobi in a huff last week on Wednesday between 4 and 5 am by persons’ determined to ensure the public did not read about the new scandal. One man was seen driving to the various vendors in different streets purchasing all copies of the paper a clear indication of ‘damage control’.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru criticized the Nation Media Group over its reportage of the scandal affair, claiming that a company it owns received Sh2.3 million as proceeds from the alleged ‘scandal’. He wrote a complaint letter to Media Council of Kenya claiming that the ‘internal audit report’ the media house used for its expose never mentioned the company known as Gazeti Limited which he allegedly claimed to be owned by the Nation Media Group. He lodged a formal complaint against Nation Media Group for allegedly publishing defamatory content asking the Media Council to play its role and push the media house to provide materials proving Health ministry officials stole the amount. He demanded that Nation Media Group apologizes for alleging gross graft at the Ministry.
Speaking in a public function Deputy President William Samoei Ruto openly defended President Kenyatta’s kin implicated in the scandal saying she has an equal opportunity to do business with the government. Questions were raised of why Sundales Ltd. was awarded a lucrative contracts an AGPO beneficiary yet she is not disadvantaged. Mr Ruto says such an argument is not supported by legal provisions.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto led the Jubilee Party Hierarchy in denying the existence of corruption in government blaming it on the opposition and media during Jubilee Party National Governing Council meeting at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi. The duo said the government would not be thrown into what they called a mudslinging contest and would stick to its agenda.
‘MAFIA HOUSE’, as now christened, shows how the ruling bourgeoisies are heartless.Heads will soon be rolling since the ‘paper’ trail transaction is digital with the names of beneficial companies well known.
The writer is a First Year Public Relations Student.