The greed of 4 government officials condemns Kenyan graduates to a world of debt and misery

They were wiring lots of between Sh483,000 ($4830) and Sh499,650 ($4996) within days to their accounts.

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Four senior managers at the ICT Authority have been suspended after an internal audit revealed they siphoned Sh160 million ($1.6million) from an internship project launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A leaked internal audit report shows that Felix Ongaga (director corporate services), Daniel Ouma (head of finance), Peter Mwangi (accountant), and Antony Mwangi (cashier) withdrew the cash from ICT Authority’s Citi Bank accounts between January and July this year, wiring the cash disguised as per diem to their bank accounts.

“The acting CEO suspended all the four officers in the finance and accounts department to allow for investigations,” ICT principal secretary Victor Kyalo said in a statement.

“The Assets Recovery Unit and CID were called in to assist in the investigations of the suspected theft. We are determined to get to the bottom of this matter and those found culpable will face the full force of the law including full recovery of all amounts to the last coin,” Mr. Kyalo added.

The officials devised a system by withdrawing the cash in batches of less than Sh500,000 ($5000), to avoid the need for the CEO’s approval, the audit report says.

They were wiring amounts of between Sh483,000 ($4830) and Sh499,650 ($4996) within days to their accounts.

The four also used the names of 21 well-known Saccos to channel the cash masked as monthly deductions to an account at Equity Bank but the auditors established that the account used did not belong to the mentioned cooperatives.

Sadly enough, the heist may just be the tip of an iceberg as the audit report warns that taxpayers may have lost much more money, with investigations showing the looting scheme may have started in 2015.

The probe only focused on the period between January and July 19, 2017.

Kenyan universities produce about 50,000 graduates annually with Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and national polytechnics graduating a similar number.

.Dubbed the Presidential Digital Talent Programme, Kenyatta’s flagship internship project targeted 400 engineering and ICT graduates and hope to solve the 'lack of experience' headache as well as ensure Kenya had a healthy supply of science related professionals’ by sealing cracks which they could slip into.

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