CS Sicily Kariuki is on the spot after a Parliamentary committee heard that she allegedly diverted a chopper hired by the National Youth Service (NYS).
The chopper was hired at a cost of Sh7.7 million to fly staff members from the field and later diverted to drop her off at a private function held at Windsor Hotel.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi while scrutinizing the Auditor General’s 2017/18 Financial Report learnt that the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, then under CS Kariuki, spent Sh2.3 million on mobile toilets for a meeting held at Gilgil NYS College.
“This matter of hiring toilets as we can clearly see is a litany of irregularities, illegalities and impunity by the then CS yet this was her private meeting,” Mr Wandayi told Public Service PS Mary Kimonye who declined to name the “senior official” who used the chopper.
“With this, it goes down without saying that Sicily Kariuki who was responsible for the hiring of the toilets is the same CS who used the helicopter for a detour to Windsor hotel,” said Wandayi.
An invoice billed and paid for by the ministry included a stop at Windsor which was not in the approved itinerary, requisitioned and approved by the accounting officer.
MPs pushed PS Kimonye and NYS Director-General Matilda Sakwa into naming the CS in-charge at the time the “outrageous” payments were made.
Legislators threatened to cite Kimonye as a hostile witness for failing to name the CS.
“Remember if you continue to be protective of her, this can go down on you very badly,” Wandayi said.
Garissa Town MP Aden Duale also demanded that the PS gives the committee the name of the CS and owner of the chopper.
“You cannot hide the details from us, if we want to know who this person is we will know; we will just call the industry regulator to get the manifest. We can also get this information from the intelligence person who was present when the CS boarded the helicopter,” Duale said.
As pressure mounted to name the “official” Ms Kimonye told the committee that she would go “back and get the details before I respond to you.”
Earlier, Sakwa had told the committee that a CS had used the chopper but declined to give further details after Kimonye warned her against sharing information that she was not certain was factual.
PS Kimonye and Ms Sakwa struggled to explain to the legislators how the Sh2.3 million tender for the toilets was approved yet the expenditure was not budgeted for.
“It is correct that the account charged for the expenditure was not the right one. The station did not have funds in the right account by the time of procuring the service. Reallocation could not be sought because of the time factor. This failure is attributable to the time factor and is regretted,” Ms Sakwa said.
MPs were also shocked to learn that NYS awarded a non-registered company a tender to supply watermelons worth Sh500,000.
The company, the auditor general said, was issued with the LPO on January 5, 2016, four months before the company was registered.