Kenya: Over 40 people will be questioned about $100 million theft at the National Youth Service

Kenyan investigators plan to question over 40 people in an investigation about a “massive theft of public funds” at the National Youth Service, said George Kinoti, the country’s director of criminal investigations on Sunday.

According to Reuters, local Kenyan media had reported that 10 billion shillings ($100 million) is missing through phantom invoices and payments on one supplier invoice at the National Youth Service—an agency set up in 2015 to equip young Kenyans with skills and help create jobs.

“It is massive theft of public funds,” said Kinoti. “Our aim is to have anybody who is involved in theft of public funds to answer and if possible return what they have stolen from the public.”

The directorate of criminal investigations, under Kinoti, has summoned government officials and business people who had been paid by the agency for supplying goods and services to the youth service. “Within three, four, five days, you will see us in court,” Kinoti said.

Richard Ndubai, the head of the National Youth Service, and Lilian Mbogo-Omollo, an official in the ministryy of public service have both steeped aside from their jobs for the investigations to continue. However, there hasn’t been any significant convictions and prosecutions over the theft of funds at the youth service.

Although Kenyan Presient Uhuru Kenyatta has often spoken about his focus on fighting corruption, it hasn’t been met with appropriate action by his government. “If there is any issue that has frustrated me,” he said in 2016, citing a backlog of over 600 corruption cases in the courts, “it is this issue.”

Also published on Medium.