EACC set to freeze bank accounts of four Treasury officials

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating four senior National Treasury and Planning officials for alleged corruption.

The four officials are accused of fraudulently pocketing more than Ksh 37 million and the agency headed by Twalib-Mbarak revealed on Wednesday that it had received the green light from the judiciary to freeze their bank accounts.

“The EACC has obtained orders from the Nairobi High Court preserving KES. 37,347,598.59 of public funds embezzled by four (4) employees of the National Treasury and Plan,” notes a statement from the Integrity Center.

The officials in the spotlight are Robert Theuri Murage, Faith Kiptis, Esther Ngeru and Doris Simiyu.

The EACC said it had received reports that the four officials misappropriated public funds and were guilty of abuse of power through fraudulent, superfluous and facilitation allowances.

In the case of Esther Wangechi Ngeru, Deputy Internal Auditor at Treasury, the EACC noted that she had received more than Ksh 53 million in her account since 2020, but her total salary over the past two years cannot go only to Ksh. 5000000.

“Esther Wangeci Ngeru earned an average monthly salary of Kshs. 188,000 during the period under investigation, i.e. from January 2020 to June 2022, for an amount of only Ksh 5,640,000. During the same period, she received a total of Kshs 53,150,612.00 as advances, facilitation and superfluous allowances,” the EACC said in a statement.

He added that preliminary analysis revealed “batch M-Pesa withdrawals averaging Kshs. 100,000/= and 50,000/= and multiple checks withdraw amounts between Kshs. 500,000 and 900,000 leaving a balance of 8,550,920.30 Kshs as of July 6, 2022”,

His counterpart, Faith Jemita Kiptis, who is a senior finance manager, is said to have earned a total of Kshs 79 million over the same period, even though her salary averages Kshs. 71,000 each month was only Ksh 2,130,000.

According to the EACC, the millions of shillings in his account came from improper advances, facilitations and superfluous allowances.

Another treasury employee, Doris Nafula Simiyu, an accountant, is also said to have received a total of Kshs 20,200,100.00 in advances, facilitation and superfluous allowances over two years. Simiyu, according to EACC, earns an average monthly salary of Kshs. 59,000 during the period under investigation, i.e. from January 2020 to June 2022, for an amount of only Ksh 1,770,000.

His fellow accountant, Robert Theuri Murage, earned an average monthly salary of Kshs. 41,000 during the period of investigation, i.e. from January 2020 to June 2022, which is only Kshs 1,230,000. During the same period, Murage received a total of 24,758,352.00 Kenyan shillings as advances, facilitation and foreign allowances.

The Commission said it was pleased to have obtained the court orders preserving the funds in question, as it is conducting its own investigations into the matter.