Why Kalonzo is in trouble with government
The government has frozen the accounts of the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation.
The Nation learnt that the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordination Board also dissolved the foundation’s board for failure to account for Sh196 million.
The opposition Nasa coalition’s presidential running mate, however, accused the NGOs regulator of engaging in “political persecution” and vowed to reveal “very shocking details” on Wednesday.
This is the second organisation linked to a prominent personality to have its accounts frozen in the recent past after Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s. Dr Kidero also blamed political instigation.
On the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation board of directors are the former Vice-President, his wife Pauline Musyoka and Mrs Martha Mulwa.
According to a May 2 letter to the foundation by the NGOs Board’s CEO Fazul Mahamed, the money was received from donors to improve the livelihoods of marginalised communities as well as provide healthcare and quality education, among other poverty alleviation interventions, in the neighbouring counties of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni.
The NGO cannot also account for Sh50 million from China Youth Development Foundation for construction of classrooms in the area.
“The funds are not traceable in the foundation’s bank accounts, annual returns, audited accounts or the foundation’s bank statements given to the board for review,” reads the letter.
Mr Mahamed accused the NGO of “continuously and consistently” making false declarations of its financial status in the annual returns and audited accounts. He added that the organisation had not been disclosing its donors as required.
SECRET BANK ACCOUNTS
“The board has confirmed the existence of secret, illegal and unauthorised bank accounts, consisting both local and foreign accounts, in contravention and total disregard of the law,”wrote Mr Mahamed.
The NGOs Board further noted that the foundation’s bank accounts were “operated by total strangers, contrary to the provisions of the enabling Kenyan charity law and existing financial regulations”.
It called for “forensic investigations” on the NGO, including to ascertain whether it had engaged in money laundering.
The NGO’s accounts will now be preserved by the Central Bank of Kenya.
But Mr Musyoka, who spoke to the Nation on phone, countered the accusations: “This is political persecution.
“I will respond to all issues raised tomorrow (Wednesday) and Kenyans will be very shocked with what I will reveal. You should also look at the timing of the action of the board.”
The Wiper Democratic Movement party leader said hundreds of needy children from Ukambani have benefited from the foundation, even as he vowed to fight the decision by the NGOs Board.
The NGOs Board wrote to the foundation on March 1 regarding its foreign bank accounts.
In reply, Mr Kennedy Musyoka, its secretary-general and the veteran politician’s son, on March 9 denied any unethical practices.
He said the foundation’s accounts are opened and operated in one bank — I&M Bank.