From a virtual unknown a short three years ago, the rise and rise of Anne Waiguru to household name status has confounded Kenyans. How she has accomplished this fete, many are still seeking answers for with some saying she is a sharp brain who has reached were she is with the sweat of her brow while others say she is a blunt tool in the hands of hidden operatives out to use her mint billions.
For lack of a clear answer, Kenyans have now made the working relationship between Uhuru Kenyatta and Waiguru who is his Devolution and Planning cabinet secretary a subject of speculations.
Left to only speculate on the relationship between their boss and their colleague, ministers on either side of the Jubilee coalition dread to cross Waiguru’s path.
Waiguru who hails from Gichugu constituency, Kirinyaga is in Uhuru’s establishment most powerful of cabinet secretaries in the rank of Nicholas Biwott during the Moi era, late Mbiyu Koinange of the Jomo Kenyatta regime and John Michuki of Mwai Kibaki era.
Within the opposition, Waiguru is referred to as prime minister. In the cabinet, she is known as first among equals while URP ministers call her a super minister.
Whereas she denies accusations that she is corrupt, our months’ long investigations seem to sugget otherwise. Despite her continued fight to clear her name from the multi-million National Youth Service scandal, there are issues yawning for explanation.
For a start, companies linked to her relatives or friends are deeply involved in the NYS scandals.
1.Transcend Media. The owner and the chief executive officer is one Tony Gatheca. The firm which has been contracted to do publicity work for NYS without competitive tendering but from in-house dealing has so far been paid over Sh600 million. Gatheca’s sister Winnie Wambugu is an aide of CS Waiguru. She is said to run and operate both official and private errands for today’s most powerful woman in Kenya political terrain.
2. Brandspark Supplies Limited. Its Kenya Revenue Authority Pin number according to documents in our possession is KRA Pin PO51434925P. At KRA, reports show the directors are Paul Karingithi and Janet Mwende.
However, when your favourite Weekly Citizen visited the Registrar of Companies, the story of the ownership was quite different. We established that Brandspark directors as per the filing are Lucy Mukiri, Grace M Wainaina and Julius Muvea Muinde.
Curious with the happenings at Registrar of Companies and KRA, our investigations team decided to track those involved in the operation of the controversial firm which has also been paid millions in suspect transactions.
Believe it or not, one of the directors whose name appears at the registrar of companies Grace M Wainaina is a relative of Betty Nyambura Wainaina. One may ask, who is Betty Nyambura Wainaina. She is the official chief of staff at the Devolution ministry. She is said to be too close to Waiguru and one of her trusted lieutenants.
There have been whispers within the corridors of power that Waiguru wields too much power to the extent that she is like a supervisor to fellow cabinet secretaries. She is one of the ministers who has unlimited access to State House and with hot line to State House both at her private residence in Runda and her office.
3. Fresco International. It has five directors but at KRA, only one name of Chris Thiga appears. It is associated with the cartel enjoying Waiguru’s patronage. Other directors are Brian Kuloba and Michael Wamae. Involved in supply of foodstuffs at NYS, the mode of payments it receives just like other firms associated with the cartel surrounding Waiguru is well calculated to avoid any suspicion. The huge payments are broken and paid at intervals of less than a week. For example, Fresco International Limited had purchase order summary created on February 19 2015 as follows. Sh24,950,000 for green grams, Sh21,5000,000 for powder milk, Sh19,000,000 for maize meal and Sh12,000,000 for green grams again.
A number of Uhuru allies claim that Waiguru has kicked them out of the kitchen cabinet as she stamps her authority as Uhuru’s key adviser as calls by the opposition that she steps aside have intensified.
Those who have worked with her previously at the Treasury say she is a hard worker who arrives in office at 6am and leaves at midnight. It is because of her competence and commitment that Uhuru trusted her with such a powerful position. There have been rumours that Uhuru is grooming her to join politics in 2022 and be running mate to William Ruto.
Apart from a cartel and Uhuru allies plotting to kick Waiguru out, investigations also reveal that the opposition led by Raila Odinga has also been spending sleepless nights plotting to have Waiguru sent packing over alleged corruption in her ministry.
Last week, drama unfolded when MPs from both sides of the political divide clashed at a meeting of two committees where Waiguru was to be grilled over alleged corruption at NYS.
It was Waiguru’s answer to Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi’s question that she has no role in procurement and that the amount under investigation had gone to Sh695 million that sparked controversy.
As the meeting turned into a shouting match, those who were seen to have gone out of their way to defend Waiguru were Richard Onyonka, Jimmy Angwenyi, Benjamin Lang’at and MPs from Central Kenya who jammed the committee room in the name of “friends of the committee”. Onyonka is alleged to have been given 200 slots for youth from constituency to join NYS.
On power struggles between Director General Nelson Githinji and his deputy Adan Harakhe, Waiguru claimed that the two had differences in opinion and which has not hampered the smooth running of the institution.
There are claims that Waiguru has fallen out with Githinji after she transferred an undersecretary from the Interior ministry to her docket and created for him the position of NYS senior deputy director general, or Githinji’s deputy in an effort to counter check Githinji. It has emerged that Halakhe was moved to NYS after Githinji became a stumbling block to a cartel allied to Waiguru. Aware of the bitter wars the two are engaged in, Halakhe has brought to his side well heeled Muslim tycoons of Kenyan Somali origin to make a killing at NYS. One of them is Mohammed Junnet, the Suna East ODM MP and a close ally of Raila Odinga. Junnet is associated with Zeigham Enterprises Limited.
Another company awarded controversial tender is Desire Ltd. The company was awarded four contracts to supply 11,000 bags of rice at the price of Sh7,500 per bag. The price for one bag is Sh4,000.
Another company trading as Bora Global was paid Sh167 million for supplying foodstuff including green grams and powder milk.
Our source reveals the directors of Zeighm are the same as those of Fahaza Limited. They are Mohammed Sheikh Nuh and Hasfa Sheikh Nuh. They also supplied foodstuffs and machinery.
Zeigham Enterprises whose directors are Junet Sheikh Nuh and Hussein Mohammed supplied machine belts and submersible water pumps.
Tunasco Instaat was paid about Sh175 million for supply of leather boots while Brand Associates has been paid over Sh113 million for consultant services in NYS rebranding for media buying. Alpha Mercantile received about Sh13 million for supply of sugar.
Sources say Halakhe has become more powerful than Githinji because he has been put in charge of all administration, procurement, finance and human resource. His transfer to NYS was communicated to Githinji through a letter dated November 27 2014 and signed by Devolution PS Peter Mangiti.
Waiguru’s name features in another controversy surrounding IFMIS tender. In a letter by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission dated April 21 2015 signed by John Loikoloi who is the deputy director Forensic Investigations at the EACC, it wants Treasury PS Kamau Thugge to provide crucial documents that will help the commission unearth the truth behind the tender procurement.
“The commission is carrying out investigations of alleged procurement irregularities into the provision of consultancy for Oracle Data Base and Oracle Applications vide tender No.MOF/167/2010-2011,” the letter says in part.
The letter further says: “To facilitate our investigations, kindly furnish us with original copies of the tender documents”. Oracle is a computer software upon which IFMIS, Waiguru initiated and which Uhuru has now and then be talking about in public.
Documents reveal that in July 2011, the ministry of Finance officials; Waiguru then acting as director of IFMIS/HGU and Mutua Kilaka the financial secretary, on behalf of the government of Kenya, contracted Copy Cat Ltd to provide the services. The Finance ministry was then under the office of the Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru.
Copy Cat Ltd, the top IT firm in the country under the directorship of Neeraj Pradhan was then paid Sh45,970,800 for the consultancy services for Oracle Data Base and Oracle Applications Financials/Purchasing in a deal that was witnessed by a Joshua Omollo.
Among the documents required by the commission include the letter of requisition from the user, approved budget, procurement plan, tender advertisements, tender opening minutes, list of bidders, tender evaluation minutes and tender committee minutes.
Other documents are letters of award to successful bidders, signed contracts, payment vouchers, invoices and delivery notes plus any other relevant documents.
The treasury PS through a letter dated April 28 2015 is quoted as saying: “The purpose of this letter is therefore to forward copies of the above tender for your review and necessary action.”
Back to NYS payments, CBK has raised questions on some of the payments Halakhe made, including Sh40 million to Bora Global Ltd.
According to inside sources, the company was paid two vouchers of Sh32 million and Sh18 million on May 15 2015, for supply of powdered milk to the NYS.
Investigations reveal that Bora Global Ltd was registered on October 31 2013, with Maria Blessings Nyambura Ng’ang’a, Wilson Waihenya Ngima and Julius Muvea Muinde listed as directors. Observers are quick to notice Julius Muvea Muinde is also linked to Brandspark where Grace Wainaina, the chief of staff at Devolution is a director.
Other controversial payments include payments made to Mutahi Ngunyi of The Consulting House who was paid Sh38.9 million for consultancy services for the implementation of the NYS 5-point Vision strategy. For now, Ngunyi has embarked on damage control and propaganda to divert Kenyans from the truth and sacrifice Githinji as the culprit on the pretext that he was among those surrounding Kibaki who did not support Uhuru presidential bid 2013.
Others are Ms Things of Desire who were paid Sh37.5million in two transactions, for supply of rice. Tunasco Instaat TTTAS was paid about Sh175 million for supply of leather boots while Brand Associates has been paid over Sh113 million for consultant services in NYS rebranding for media buying while Alpha Mercantile received about Sh13m for supply of sugar.
Waiguru today controls some of the powerful departments in the Jubilee administration. This has seen her start the Huduma Centres where scandals pertaining to their expansion are about to erupt anytime.