Kenyan taxpayers have lost billions of shillings through corrupt dealing under the watch of the untouchable Transport CS James Macharia.
In 2020 Mr Macharia survived an impeachment motion after he directed that all cargo import through the Port of Mombasa to be hauled via Standard Gauge Railway to the controversial Naivasha Inland Container Depot.
He commands one of the largest ministerial budgets averaging Sh310 billion annually compared to figures of between Sh20 billion and Sh100 billion a majority of the rest are allocated.
The only ministries with larger budgets are those of health and education, though the majority of their funds are used for ongoing expenses, as opposed to Mr. Macharia, who is in charge of the nation’s largest development budget, which accounts for an average of 47% of the total annual development budget.
Moreover Sh800 billion of the Sh6 trillion in debts owed by Kenyan taxpayers to different creditors are attributable to Macharia’s ministry.
In addition, 87 of the 545 State projects that have stagnated and are worth a total of Sh365.9 billion as of June 2018 are under his purview, according to a study by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
These projects have a value of around Sh100 billion, or almost one-third of the total value of all halted projects. The projects have already consumed over Sh24.4 billion, money that taxpayers would be required to pay whether or not they receive value for it.
His impeachment motion was moved by Nyali Mp Mohamed Ali over his involvement in mega scandals from the days he served as the Health CS. The tainted CS was behind the scheme where Sh5 billions of taxpayers’ money was stolen from the Ministry of Health and paid to shady firms with links to corrupt senior officials in government who did not even supply the purported medical equipment.
“He is accused of involvement in the Ksh5B scandal during his time as Health CS. At the same time, Macharia has been accused of lethargy in the fight against corruption while the vice continues to take place,” Ali said.
The Nyali lawmaker also exposed the links between Macharia and the embattled Suraya Property Group which coned members of the public more than Sh1.5 billion through various housing projects.
Victims of the Suraya theft complained that the owners of the company were shrewd businessmen enjoying patronage from powerful individuals in government like Macharia who is their business associate.
“CS James Macharia failed to explain the loss of Ksh1.5 billion meant for the construction of housing projects in Nairobi by Suraya. In addition, it was established that Spring Valley Business Park where Suraya has its offices is owned by the Cabinet Secretary,” Hon. Ali added.
But in the Sh5 billions theft which was executed through the manipulation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS), a leaked internal audit report revealed that two transactions which stuck out; one was where money was wired to a company owned by the family of a former high ranking official in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
The other transaction was where Sh 200 million was transferred to Estama Investments Ltd from the free maternity kitty on June 30, 2016, the same day the procurement decision was made under Macharia’s watch.
All moves by CS James Wainaina Macharia have ignited feuds but he still remains the most shielded corrupt official in the Jubilee administration.
CS James Macharia is poster child of Gov’t Incompetence, Ineptitude & Hubris … Under him,
Kenya Ferry Services operate unseaworthy Ferries
Billions spent to paint roads allegedly for BRT
SGR turned out to be fake Project
Kenya Airways collapsed
Useless roads are built
— Donald B Kipkorir (@DonaldBKipkorir) September 30, 2019
In 2019, Azimio allied lawyer Donald B Kipkorir wrote an open letter urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Macharia over his involvement in looting scandals and many instances where he has blundered.
“Dismiss Hon Macharia with immediate effect and let him be investigated for possible corrupt motives,” Kipkorir wrote.
And in September 2019, Labour Court revoked Macharia’s appointment of three people who are from one ethnic group to Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (NAMATA), a State agency tasked with the improvement of public transport in Nairobi.
Justice Nzioki wa Makau found that Mr Macharia went against the law when he appointed Mary Waithigieni Chege, Zachariah Karenge Mungai and Ronald Ndirangu Ndegwa, all from the same ethnic group as members of NAMATA board.
Macharia’s motive was to plant his tribesmen to oversee the implementation of the Sh5.6 billion Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) but Justice Makau in his ruling faulted the rogue CS of failing to represent the diverse Kenyan ethnicity.
Pro free speech. Retired Journalist and That guy! Kenyan based in the UK.