I did not embezzle Sh7.8 billion at City Hall – Kidero
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has termed the new financial misappropriation allegations levelled against him and his administration as cheeky and a continuation of political malice meant to malign his name.
This comes following fresh investigations against the governor and nine county officials who served during his tenure over suspected embezzlement of Sh7.8 billion.
“The claims made against me are cheeky,” he said on Monday.
The Financial Reporting Centre wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate Dr Kidero, the nine former officials, directors of four pharmaceutical companies and bank officials.
They are accused of withdrawing the money from a number of county collection accounts between April 2014 and August 2017 through structured cash withdrawals.
But Dr Kidero on Monday denied the allegations, saying if there were payments made as has been classified as Real Time Gross Settlement by the Financial Reporting Centre, then there must have been a basis for the transfers, and they must have been done after officially being approved.
“I was not involved in any transaction, neither as an initiator nor as approver, and if I ever did, then the due process must have been followed. Therefore, you do not just jump into conclusion that money was embezzled. If that ever happened, then it would have been so glaring,” he said.
He also stated that no investigator, either from the DCI or the EACC, has been in touch with him or made contact with the people responsible for handling financial and procurement matters.
He added that even if the issue is raised with him, he would not know anything as he has ‘absolutely nothing to do with payments’, saying that under the Public Finance Management Act, the governor has nothing to do with opening of accounts or procurement, and that he/she does not incur any expenditure.
‘THERE WILL BE EXPLANATIONS’
“Nobody has ever raised an issue over the same and even if there were queries, the people responsible have not been contacted, and I am sure there will be explanations,” he said.
At the same time Dr Kidero has threatened to sue a local newspaper for allegedly maligning his name.
He claimed that the paper started the story on the investigations into alleged Sh2 billion in his Foundation then the unaccounted for Sh21 billion in the handover report.
“The paper is being cheeky and I will meet them in court. There is no way that all the stories have just been in that one paper…,” said Dr Kidero.
This is not the first time the former governor has come under scrutiny over financial management during his tenure.
In March, a damning report by audit firm KPMG, which covered revenue, debts, cash and banking as well as assets, indicated that Sh21 billion was not accounted for by Dr Kidero when he left office last year.
The report revealed that over Sh21.89 billion in payments were not recorded, making it hard for the auditors to establish who was paid while 7,346 manual revenue collection receipt booklets were deleted from the digital system.
The audit also found that the handover report under-declared the county’s debts by more than Sh1.5 billion.