May 27, 2024

TOP AFRICA NEWS

We Digest News to tell the Truth

EAC MPs Probe Ex Secretary General Peter Mathuki over Corruption 

The East African Legislative Assembly’s (EALA) committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges is  investigating the immediate former Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Dr. Peter Muthuki for corruption and abuse of office during his tenure.

The Committee sat in Arusha to consider documents that were presented to the Assembly by EALA South Sudan representative, Kennedy Mukulia on corruption allegations against the office of Peter Mathuki during the 3rd Meeting, 2nd Session of the 5th Assembly in March, 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mukulia presented documents containing damning allegations of gross corruption and abuse of office against the office of the Secretary General.

The documents demonstrate impunity, gross abuse of office, disregard for the Treaty and other Community Legal Instruments, indicating grand corporate irresponsibility and mismanagement of the affairs of the Community by the immediate former Secretary General, who is by law, the accounting officer of the Community.

The documents further revealed that the former Secretary General “could not have become a law unto himself unless he was assisted by some staff, persons who were employed by the council to safeguard the interest of the community, but they became willing collaborators of the Secretary General in disregarding the established financial rules and regulations and ensured wanton expenditure of community resources. Those who stood on their way, were either intimidated, redeployed and reassigned different duties or banned from travelling. The Council to the Community became a prominent spectator, leaving the community in the hands of one man”.

Kenya’s President, William Ruto recently recalled Mathuki before deploying him as Ambassador to Moscow.

This followed complaints of corruption at the EAC Secretariat.

EAC PEACE FACILITY FUND

Some of the allegations made against Mathuki is misappropriation of USD 6.6 million EAC Peace Fund allocation, intimidation and redeployment of staff at the secretariat.

The documents laid before the committee showed that the Directorate of Finance whose primary duty is to ensure that the expenditure complies with the Financial Rules and Regulations, was spending funds whose utilization was never disclosed to the Assembly as required by the Treaty and Financial Rules and Regulations since 2022.

This means that, the Accounting Officer, the Director of Finance, the Principal Accountant and the Senior Budget Officer, “conspired to create and operate a separate and parallel budget process that is not within Article 132 and Part V of the Financial Rules and Regulations (on utilization of financial resources)”.

According to Hon. Mukulia, the Audit Commission and the Internal Audit Unit in their report found that all the expenditure under the Peace Facility was irregular.

Hon. Mukulia asked the Committee to establish the alleged accountants/funds that have been opened/closed and utilized by the former Secretary General without approval of the Council and the Assembly and the officers responsible for this impunity.

Mukulia also laid the documents alleging that the Directorate of Finance is in the habit of inventing travels to receive Daily Subsistence Allowance.

IRREGULAR RECRUITMENT OF STAFF

Documents presented before the committee also revealed allegations of abuse and mismanagement in the recruitment process.

The documents reveal, “the persons recruited between 2021 and 8th March, 2024 in Nyerere Centre for Peace and Research (Administrator-Everlyn Odoro), The USAID Liason Officer (Brian Kalekye), Communications (Lilian Wanjiru Kiarie), Projects (Project Assistant-Office of the Secretary General (Silvester Kilungya)”, shows a clear abuse of authority of the former immediate former Secretary General, impunity and utter disregard for the staff Rules and Regulations and Principles of recruitment by irregularly recruiting relatives, friends and girlfriends into the service of the community.”

Mukulia argued that, the staff Rules and Regulations provide for advertising, constituting of Panels for shortlisting, shortlisting and interviewing and appointment and that the above-mentioned positions and individuals were not advertised, there is no recruitment report.

He requested the Committee to establish how those individuals were identified to fill these positions, and how these positions were negotiated, and included in the EAC projects.

The documents also raised the issue of creation of separate payrolls to accommodate payments for individuals who are irregularly recruited and approval for these individuals to receive staff entitlements including settlement allowances, and payment of arrears fabricated by officers within the secretariate.

REDEPLOYMENT OF STAFF & ASSIGNING FUNCTIONS OF STAFF TO CONSULTANTS

Mukulia also tabled documents before the committee showing that whenever the immediate former Secretary General faced resistance of his regular policies or intentions, the staff who resist or reject the policies were either redeployed, or had their functions assigned to others who would collaborate.

“In some instances, a private communication firm whose ownership is close to the former Secretary General was hired to take over the functions of EAC Communications Department without the Approval of the Council.”

The EALA Senior Public Relations Officer, Nicodemus Ajak Bior said in a statement said that the Committee will investigate Mathuki over corruption and abuse of office.

“After this submission by Hon. Mukulia, The Legal, Rules and Privileges Committee of EALA will consider the evidence and will investigate the allegations made and tabled against the immediate former Secretary General of EAC, Hon.Dr. Peter Mathuki and his office. The Committee is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the East African Assembly once the investigations are concluded,” he said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

TOPAFRICANEWS.COM © All rights reserved.