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I was pressured to release Sh15bn days before election, says budget boss



Just days before the August 9 general election, the Controller of Budget informed MPs that she was pressured to approve the release of Sh15.2 billion.

According to Ms. Margaret Nyakang’o, who testified before the National Assembly Public Petitions committee on Tuesday, former National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani exerted pressure on her to approve the payments, which included Sh6 billion to cover the exit of UK-based private equity firm Helios Investment from Telkom Kenya and another Sh9.2 billion from the annuity fund to finance some road projects.

“I sought to see the resolution that approved this but it was not available. What I was given was the contract between Helios and the Cabinet Secretary,” Dr Nyakang’o said.

She was testifying before the committee in response to an appeal filed by Stephen Mutoro, the secretary-general of Cofek, concerning Sh55 billion between July and August of last year.

When asked by lawmakers why it never occurred to her that the withdrawal request was being made just days before the election, prompting suspicions, Dr. Nyakang’o responds that her office continues to operate throughout the campaign season.

According to Ms. Nyakang’o, the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) requested Sh2.961 billion to pay outstanding invoices from the previous financial year, but only pending invoices totaling Sh411.9 million were actually given.

“I asked for invoices to explain what Sh2 billion would be used for when only invoices worth Sh411 million were provided. I’m still waiting for invoices of the balance. The financial year is not over. Maybe they will bring them,” Dr Nyakang’o said.

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The NMS request came from the Comptroller of State House who is the accounting officer through the National Treasury, she added.

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