A Fish Rots From Its Head – Crony Capitalism Exposed At The Kenya Youth Enterprise Development Fund

“A fish rots from the head … down”
Crony Capitalism at the Kenya Youth Enterprise Development Fund

A Mars Group Kenya / Youth Interactive Portal for Enterprise (Yipe.org)

Report for

The Partnership for Change
From Dictatorial Impunity to Democratic Accountability in Kenya

June 27th 2009.

On June 23rd 2009, the East African Standard published an article by Kenneth Kwama outlining a
litany of accusations of financial mismanagement and impropriety at the Youth Fund. The Fund in
turn through its Chairperson, Ms. Hellen Tombo accused the Standard of being used in political
machinations, and looking for corruption where none exists.
The basis of the East African Standard story was a management letter by the Kenya National
Audit Office (KNAO) dated 28th November 2008 to the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth
Enterprise Development Fund. It is not known what was the response if any there has been to
this letter but the letter contains detailed audit queries which indicate significant managerial
problems at this important national fund. This matter is one of urgent national importance bearing
in mind Agenda 4 of the National Accord.
Though the MOYA confirmed it received an investigation report from the Inspectorate of State
Corporations they denied having lost any money. Minister Hellen Sambili said the Inspectorate’s
report makes several recommendations to strengthen the governance structures of the Youth
Enterprise Fund but makes no mention of “anything about the disappearance of money”.
On June 26th 2009, the MOYA published a paid advertisement in the Daily Nation reiterating the
same. Since the Youth Fund’s press briefing, no other media mentions have emerged regarding
their response on the discrepancies outlined in the Kenya National Audit Office management
letter to the Youth Fund.

On June 23rd 2009, the East African Standard published an article by Kenneth Kwama outlining a litany of accusations of financial mismanagement and impropriety at the Youth Fund. The Fund in turn through its Chairperson, Ms. Hellen Tombo accused the Standard of being used in political machinations, and looking for corruption where none exists.

The basis of the East African Standard story was a management letter by the Kenya National Audit Office (KNAO) dated 28th November 2008 to the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. It is not known what was the response if any there has been to this letter but the letter contains detailed audit queries which indicate significant managerial problems at this important national fund. This matter is one of urgent national importance bearing in mind Agenda 4 of the National Accord.

Though the MOYA confirmed it received an investigation report from the Inspectorate of State Corporations they denied having lost any money. Minister Hellen Sambili said the Inspectorate’s report makes several recommendations to strengthen the governance structures of the Youth Enterprise Fund but makes no mention of “anything about the disappearance of money”.

On June 26th 2009, the MOYA published a paid advertisement in the Daily Nation reiterating the same. Since the Youth Fund’s press briefing, no other media mentions have emerged regarding their response on the discrepancies outlined in the Kenya National Audit Office management letter to the Youth Fund.

Why this issue is important

When the Youth Fund management was confronted with questions regarding the financial letter from the Kenya National Audit Office, instead of answering the queries they only politicised the issue. Further to that the public statement carried in the Daily Nation of Friday 26th 2009, do not in anyway answer the auditors question regarding its financial management.

The Youth Fund in this year’s Budget is set to receive a substantial amount of money from the Exchequer. Therefore, before they receive the Funds, it is imperative that they satisfy the Kenyan public and in particular its youth who form the majority of Kenya’s citizenry that it has rectified these discrepancies, and addressed all the management issues raised in the letter by the KNAO.

Principles of accountability and transparency demand that it is the role of the Government of Kenya and its public officers to answer questions posed by the citizenry they serve. To politicize issues is an act of the impunity that has allowed scandals of loss of billions of Kenya shillings to occur. Kenyan’s will remember cases such as scandals of financial impropriety that cost the Exchequer huge losses, for instance the country’s National Social Security Fund. Though the figures listed below may well be small as opposed to other scandals such as Anglo-leasing and Goldenberg, which almost crippled Kenya’s economic security, the Partnership for Change contends that it is impropriety regarding trusteeship of small sums of money that ultimately end up exploding into scandals in the range of billions.

Furthermore, when the media raises issues in the public interest, duty bearers in public office are best advised to RESPOND to the issues being raised; not just to dismiss every question on accountability to mere politics. This is the era of accountability and the Partnership for Change will demand nothing short of answers when such queries are raised by the media and citizenry.

To avert this, the Partnership for Change on behalf of its membership, through Mars Group Kenya and the Youth Interactive Portal for Enterprise (Yipe.org) is thus posing 10 questions with the ultimate objective of not having to witness another scandal later on, if it emerges that the Youth Fund was indeed losing much needed money.

The Partnership for Change is grateful to the media when it acts in the public interest by playing its role as a public watchdog.

Read Full Report: “A fish rots from the head … down”: Crony Capitalism at the Kenya Youth Enterprise Development Fund

Related Documents:
Youth Fund Status Report as at 31st March 2009
YOUTH ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT FUND ORDER 2007
Financial Statement Audit Of The Youth Enterprise Development Fund Board June 30th 2008

Update: Youth Fund wrangle – August 15th 2009


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About yipe
Yipe an acronym for the Youth Interactive Portal for Enterprise is an organization that assists entrepreneurs to start up and manage their small businesses.

14 Responses to A Fish Rots From Its Head – Crony Capitalism Exposed At The Kenya Youth Enterprise Development Fund

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