Embattled businesswoman Josephine Kabura was on Tuesday at pains to explain her dealings with the National Youth Service (NYS), including the withdrawal of more than Sh100 million in cash from a bank without security arrangements.
The withdrawals were made in March 2015 from an account held by Roof and All Trading — one of Ms Kabura’s companies that dealt with NYS.
Ms Kabura said she used the money to pay suppliers of construction materials at a quarry in Ongata Rongai – a response that put her in trouble with MPs probing the scandal.
“I would carry the money in one bag at a time to the site. A bag would fit between Sh10 million to Sh20 million. The suppliers at the quarry were working day and night and I had to have ready cash with me,” she told the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.
Suba MP John Mbadi said it was not humanly possible to carry the Sh100 million in cash as it is equivalent to 100 kilograms or the weight of two bags of cement.
Ms Kabura, who was accompanied by her lawyer could, however, not provide proof of transactions or receipts showing the money was actually paid to suppliers at the quarry.
She denied that the money withdrawn was later deposited in accounts held by Horizon Limited and Ratego Technologies, both companies belonging to controversial businessman Ben Gethi.
PAC’s analysis found that the teller who served Ms Kabura when she withdrew the cash is the same one who handled Mr Gethi’s deposits on the same day at Family Bank’s Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) branch.
When he appeared before the PAC, Mr Gethi denied a role in the loss of Sh791 million at the NYS, arguing that his firm, Horizon Limited, supplied the youth agency with fuel and not building materials, which were linked to the theft of NYS millions.
Previous witnesses at the committee have said that the money did not leave the banking hall of Family Bank.
Ms Kabura said she is the sole proprietor of 20 companies that transacted business with the NYS and have to date received Sh1.67 billion.
She told the PAC that registering the numerous companies ensured she had increased chances of getting business opportunities.
All her contracts with the NYS were through local purchase orders (LPOs) and only a few (an unspecified number) were pre-qualified to do business with the government.
She said that in November 2014, she received her first LPO for the delivery of construction materials for the Kibera project by Hassan Noor (who was the Chief of Staff at the ministry).
“I held regular Sunday meetings with Mr Adan Harake (former NYS deputy director-general), Hassan Noor and other officials at NYS Headquarters where we shared and brainstormed on the deliveries and accomplished pending supplies and payments and upcoming LPOs,” read her affidavit.
Credit: Business Daily