MP Kibe raises concern over use of Ksh13.2M Uwezo Fund kitty by predecessor
At least Ksh13.2 million is missing in the Uwezo Fund kitty for Gatundu North, Kiambu County, a report by the committee has revealed.
For the last four years, the fund which is a flagship programme for vision 2030 aimed at enabling women, youth and persons with disability access finances to promote businesses has not been reaching beneficiaries.
Gatundu North MP Anne Wanjiku Kibe accused her predecessor Kigo Njenga of using dubious ways such as issuing the fund to non-existent groups to siphon the money for self-gain in what has elicited a heated debate in the constituency.
According to Kibe, Youth, PLWD and women in Gatundu North have not been able to benefit from the fund over the fraud that she says was committed between 2013-2017.
Out of 195 groups which got funds under the leadership of Kigo, Kibe said that only 40 are existent or have acknowledged having received money.
She revealed that out of 16 million given to the constituency, only Sh 2.3 million has been repaid.
“Because we have not been able to meet the repayment threshold set by Uwezo Fund national Board, the current committee has been unable to disperse the Sh 2.3 million already repaid,” said Kibe.
Speaking to journalists from the constituency, Kibe regretted that the majority of the groups that received soft loans from the government to promote their enterprises have defaulted on paying back the amounts within stipulated time.
The first-time MP who vowed to follow the matter until the funds are recovered for smooth distribution to groups maintained that she will write to the National Uwezo Fund Board requesting it to treat and consider Gatundu North as a special case so as to allow the committee disburse the repaid Sh 2.3 million.
She stated that while the repaid amount falls far below the stipulated threshold of repayment amount according to the Board Policy, Gatundu North groups have a right to access the funds for economic growth of the enterprises.
“I will also be writing to the DCI and EACC asking them to speedily conduct a forensic audit on the Gatundu North Uwezo Fund because from the current committee findings, the money was fraudulent disbursed to non-existent groups which were used as conduits to siphon money from the kitty,” she said.
In a quick rejoinder, Kigo maintained that the groups that received the money are existent and that the relevant agencies should move quickly to arrest those found to have stolen from the public coffers.
He accused the current leadership of Gatundu North of playing dirty politics with a serious matter and called on them to explain the kitty’s situation claiming he was no longer in power.
“Let them stop lying. Every group that received the Uwezo Fund money is there and is known. They should follow them for repayment or if anyone stole from the kitty, then they should be arrested. I have never influenced or chaired the Uwezo Funds committee and I am no longer in power,” he said.