Kenya: How Senior County Officials Use Students On Attachment to Embezzle Public Funds

Nairobi — The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has shed light on a worrying trend where senior county officials exploit students on attachment to embezzle public funds.

Investigations by the anti-graft agency have uncovered instances where attached students are coerced into registering companies or business names, later incorporated into the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) platform.

These entities are then utilized to facilitate fraudulent schemes, resulting in the misappropriation of a significant amount of public money.

“Upon payments to those proxy companies, the students are asked to withdraw the monies sent or diverted to the bank accounts and deliver the same to their masters,” EACC said.

This practice, according to the anti-graft agency, contributes to the diversion of revenue, consequently hindering devolved units from meeting their revenue targets.

The commission emphasized that its pursuit of those perceived as ‘smaller fish’ in corruption investigations is justified, asserting that all individuals involved, regardless of their status, deserve to face the full force of the law.

“This partly explains the Commission’s position that there is no big or small fish in the fight against corruption; all are criminals to be dealt with as such,” EACC said.

In a recent case, EACC apprehended two Nairobi County officials, Daniel Odidi and John Mburi, including a Mt Kenya University student, in connection with allegations of diverting county revenue through manipulation of the Nairobi Revenue Services portal.

The suspects are accused of manipulating the revenue system to falsely acknowledge receipt of unpaid funds.

In a fraudulent scheme, the suspects are said to have persuaded a complainant to deposit Sh45,000 for annual parking fees into a private bank account belonging to John Gachagua.

Despite the payment not being made, the duo manipulated the Nairobi Revenue Services (NRS) portal to indicate full payment of the parking fees for the entire year.

The complainant was able to verify that the portal indicated full payment of the parking fees for the whole year, even without depositing any amount,” the anti-corruption agency reported.

The arrested individuals were processed at the EACC Police Station and subsequently released on cash bail, pending arraignment, following concurrence from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).


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