EACC Goes After Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia For Looting National Museums of Kenya To Its Knees

Former director-general of the National Museums of Kenya, Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia Nyagah

In July this year, we unearthed a can of worms at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) where the immediate former Director-General, Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia Nyagah, is reported to have left a long trail of plunder, graft, and nepotism during his eight-year tenure.

Trusted insiders described his leadership as a disastrous nightmare.

His appointment saw the birth of constant staff intimidation, nonpayment of dues, and oppression of labour leaders.

He successfully crippled the workers’ union, and this effectively ensured that things like annual wage increments were a thing of the past.

Dr. Kibunjia executed all these irregularities through the help of his loyal cronies, carefully plucked from the hundreds of his tribesmen from Tharaka, who invaded the corporation immediately after he took over.

It is rumored that the move was a ploy to gain popularity in his native constituency, where he has always been heavily involved in politics.

The mass employment of his kinsmen allowed him to control NMK like his personal kiosk.

In fact, even before campaigns officially began, Dr. Kibunjia was already making trips to rural Tharaka using NMK’s official SUV— a Toyota Prado.

In case you missed out on that explosive article, you can check by clicking the thumbnail below.

Tharaka Nithi Gubernatorial Aspirant Mzalendo Kibunjia Leaves Trail of Plunder, Graft and Nepotism At National Museums of Kenya


Six months after our exposé on the mega graft, corruption, plunder, nepotism and kickback-for-jobs at NMK, perpetrators of these crimes, Mzalendo Kibunjia and his close associates, have plunged into deep panic.

This is after they learnt of an ongoing investigation by sleuths from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) who have pitched camp at the state corporation for the last year.

The probe has so far revealed how Mzalendo and finance staff sold jobs to the highest bidders and how the head of administration Sudi Mwiti led a team of inexperienced maintenance artisans to do a road in Memorial Museums where they misappropriated Sh14 million.

They failed to follow procurement laws and did not produce any receipts to justify the spending.

The Kibuja administration sacrificed fairness, experience, and professionalism at the altar of nepotism, mediocrity, and patronage.

EACC has summoned top managers, including directors, to Integrity House to record statements relating to the institution operating with two payrolls carrying a total of 105 ghost workers.

The ghost workers mainly included close relatives, friends and associates of the corporation’s staff.

The most affected was the finance department.

It is also established that a letter written to the outgoing Principal Secretary (PS) outlining recommendations to curb the vices, the vices, particularly of selling jobs, was never implemented.

As a result, KCB has withdrawn staff loan services to NMK, due to dozens of illegally employed workers who applied for loans that they could no longer service once the double payroll scandal was unearthed.

This has denied genuine workers access to loans.

In a letter doing the rounds on social media dated November 18, 2022, EACC summoned Dr Kibunjia to record statements and shed more light on the scam.

It is claimed that the financial controller Geoffrey Namachanja and Mwiti Sudi were major accomplices in this double payroll scandal, which continued for eight good years during Mzalendo’s tenure.

Mr Namachanja reportedly has an insatiable appetite for being included in all trips for him to enjoy per diems.

The National Museums of Kenya’s financial budgets since FY 2014/15 have been under strict scrutiny.

About four months ago, two payroll staff, Oliver Rabuor and Wycliffe Ongata, were suspended and have been out in the cold.

Other key suspects and accomplices are still running scot-free.

Kibunjia was jilted politically in the recently concluded elections when his two running mates deserted him one after the other when he ran for the Tharaka Nithi governorship on Narc Kenya.

He was forced to step down reluctantly in favour of his rival Muthomi Njuki of UDA.

As things stand, his bank accounts have been frozen.

This has left him begging for handouts from all manner of people, including staff who seem to be happy with his tribulations.

Meanwhile, NMK staff are closely following the drama as it unfolds, with the hope that the wheels of justice will take its due course and Kibunjia as well as his partners in crime, face trial and be sentenced to jail.

According to a report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu, NMK’s audited accounts for the 2020/21 financial year show that the corporation is broke.

The current liabilities are Sh276.85 million against assets of Shh137.68 million, translating to negative working capital of Sh139.17 million.

The report raises concerns about the Sh226.02 million Fort Jesus Unesco World Heritage site in Mombasa that has stalled.

The project was a conduit used by Kibunjia and Namachanja to loot millions.

At the time it stalled, Sh108.37 million had already been paid to a local contractor undertaking the construction of the heritage site project.

The audit notes that the delay in completion may result in cost escalation and that the public may not get value for the funds already pumped into the project.

A site visit by the auditors indicated that the local contractor was not on site and had not been on the ground since December 2021.

Further Shs59.35 million Vasco da Gama Seawall and concrete repairs project has overshot its completion period.

The works on the Fort Jesus project started on September 3, 2020, with the completion date set for March 3, 2021, before being extended twice — to June 3, 2021, and September 15, 2021.

The Vasco Da Gama Seawall and concrete repairs project started on May 25, 2020 and was to be completed on May 10, 2021.

The report reveals, the contractor had finished the works and handed over the project to NMK, audit verification in February this year show that the pavement on the eastern wall had cracked and part of the ground had sunk.

The central walkway pavement concrete had also cracked.

The cracks cast doubt on whether the affected area has been filled with gunny bags or selected boulders, as proposed in the bills of quantities.

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