Nairobi 29th May 2012
The Youth Enterprise Development fund was launched in 2006 by President Mwai Kibaki with an initial disbursement of KShs1 billion. The fund was established by a legal notice under the State Corporations Act 2007. The fund’s mandate was to address the rising youth unemployment in the country, as well as provide youth entrepreneurs with capital for business startup and growth. The Fund was converted to a state corporation later in 2007, under the ministry of Youth & Affairs and Sports(MOYAS).
In a letter dated 28th November 2008, the Kenya National Audit Office detailed audit queries to the then Chief Executive Officer of the Fund. The Ministry denied having lost any money but confirmed receipt of the investigation report.
Internal fights ensued between the then chair Hellen Tombo and then Minister Prof Hellen Sambili over action to address the issues at Management level, consequence of which the then CEO Mr. Wario was suspended. KACC was called in but before the completion of investigations, the then CEO was reinstated without any explanations.
As the country heads to the next election, the Youth have become the natural target for votes by all leading contenders of the Presidency, Senators, Governors, Members of Parliament to County, Women and Ward representatives. Action is yet to be seen from Parliament to which YEDF reports its achievements. This issue will be the LITMUS TEST, if indeed young people are priority for them. The time for accountability has come when MPs must demonstrate their commitment to ensuring the benefits of YEDF to young people are real and the funds available are not misdirected.
Mismanagement, Impropriety and Embezzlement of Youth Funds
The National Youth Sector Alliance (NYSA) takes exception to the issues of impropriety that have freshly emerged at the YEDF. The audit report dated 30th April 2012 details the misappropriation of millions of shillings from the youth fund in fraudulent claims. The audit, done by the fund’s internal audit team, found questionable imprest claims and payments as follows:
- Weaknesses in the entire system of the Fund
- Lack of a procurement Specialist
- Poor performance under contract performance in 2011/2012
- Engagement of financial sector partners without due diligence to the Public Procurement and Disposal (Public Private Partnership) Regulations, 2009.
- Exaggerated fuel consumption and misuse of work tickets, and falsification of youth payment schedules by officers of the fund (Outright Theft by the staff) which goes against the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2004, Public Officers Ethics Act, 2003 and Employment Act, 2007.
- Lack of proper communication channels
- Non authentic pre-disbursement under the Business Development Services , where some activities amounting to 1,133,500.00 were paid for but never took place
- Fictitious receipts for county sensitizations expenditures
- Impropriety over 4,231,000.00 million that was spent on agri business sensitization
- Systemic weaknesses originating from lack of an implementation matrix with strategies.
The National Youth Sector Alliance can confirm that indeed based on the internal audit, the YEDF has been looted with the full knowledge of very senior government officials.
Demands from the Youth of Kenya
- The current MPs and aspiring MPs must demonstrate their commitment to young people in Kenya to access financial services, profitable enterprise, quality (basic) health services, security, representation (the National Youth Council) and protection of basic rights as enshrined in our Constitution.
- The Board of Directors, Mandated to safeguard the Fund with Fiduciary responsibility, on behalf of the Kenyan youth must take political responsibility; explain to Kenyans their role in the mismanagement of the funds.
- The Minister and Permanent Secretary, to take Political responsibility and step aside for a proper forensic audit and prosecution of the staff culpable of misappropriation of the funds.
- The Artoney General and Director of Public Prosecution to institute full investigations into the alleged impropriety, and prosecute the culpable individuals. The Youth shall appoint their independent lawyers to join in the Legal team.
- As the buck stops with the President and the Prime Minister, the youth of Kenya shall be waiting for immediate action on their commitment to Agenda 4 of the National Accord which they have abrogated to their shelves.
The National Youth Sector Alliance shall continue to mobilize young Kenyans from all over the country to begin to pay vigil on these issues until action is taken. The next course of action shall be announced if the above 4 demands are not implemented within 7 Days.
About the National Youth Sector Alliance (NYSA)
The National Youth Sector Alliance (NYSA) is a conglomeration of over 350 youth organizations, youth sector actors, NGO’s, Societies, FBO’s, CBO’s Youth Groups, among others in the country coming together for purposes of ensuring coherent Policy engagement with Government, Private Sector and other relevant stakeholders.
National Youth Sector Alliance (NYSA)
2nd Floor, World Alliance of YMCA Building, PAWA254 Hub
State House Crescent, Off State House Avenue
P.O. Box 8799, 00200, Nairobi Kenya