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Corruption Allegations Haunt Kenya’s New Russia Ambassador Mathuki
Corruption Allegations Haunt Kenya’s New Russia Ambassador Mathuki
| May 14, 2024

Dr. Peter Muthuki, the former Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), is under intense scrutiny for alleged corruption during his tenure leading the regional bloc. Reports have surfaced regarding the misappropriation of $6.6 million from the peace fund, along with accusations of staff intimidation and improper redeployment within the secretariat. Photo: Handout

Former East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, Dr. Peter Muthuki, faces mounting scrutiny over allegations of corruption during his leadership of the regional bloc.

Mathuki is at the center of controversy over misappropriation of $6.6 million peace fund allocation, intimidation and redeployment of staff at the secretariat.

Calls for investigation into corruption and abuse of office allegations against Mathuki have been directed to the East African Legislative Assembly’s committee on Legal, Rules, and Privileges.

Mathuki, who was recalled by Nairobi in March, has since been appointed as Kenya’s ambassador to Moscow, Russia, now awaiting swearing-in and posting.

A press release from the Regional Parliament on May 14 states that the committee convened in Arusha, the bloc’s headquarters to review documents presented to the Assembly by Kennedy Mukulia, a legislator from South Sudan.

These documents detail corruption allegations against the former Secretary General of the East African Community during the 3rd meeting of the 2nd session of the 5th Assembly in March 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya.

“During the 3rd Meeting of the 2nd Session of the 5th Assembly in Nairobi, Hon. Mukulia laid on the floor of the House, documents containing damning allegations of gross corruption and abuse of office against the office of the Secretary General,” read the press release from the regional parliament.

It added, “The Speaker of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Joseph Ntakuritimana referred the documents to the committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges, a committee charged with the responsibility of investigating non-compliance with the provisions of the Treaty.”

During his submissions to the panel on Monday, the South Sudanese legislator highlighted instances of impunity, gross abuse of office, and disregard for the Treaty and other Community Legal Instruments by the former Secretary General.

“The documents laid on the table demonstrate impunity, gross abuse of office, disregard for the Treaty and other Community Legal instruments, indicating grand corporate irresponsibility and mismanagement of the affairs of the Community by an individual, the immediate former Secretary General, who is by law, the accounting officer of the community,” said Mukulia during the tabling of documents.

The documents revealed that the former Secretary General “could not have become a law unto himself unless he was assisted by some staff, persons who were employed by the council to safeguard the interest of the community, but they became willing collaborators of the Secretary General in disregarding the established financial rules and regulations and ensured wanton expenditure of community resources.”

The documents uncovered irregularities in multiple facets of the EAC’s operations under Muthuki’s tenure.

Allegations ranged from misappropriation of funds from the EAC Peace Fund Facility to falsification of travel expenses, improper imprest allocations, irregular staff recruitment, establishment of separate payrolls, and unauthorized hiring of security personnel.

“The documents laid before the committee showed that the Directorate of Finance whose primary duty is to ensure that the expenditure complies with the Financial Rules and Regulations, was spending funds whose utilization was never disclosed to the Assembly as required by the Treaty and Financial Rules and Regulations since 2022,” the statement read, indicating, “This means that, the Accounting Officer, the Director of Finance, the Principal Accountant and the Senior Budget Officer, “conspired to create and operate a separate and parallel budget process that is not within Article 132 and Part V of the Financial Rules and Regulations (on utilization of financial resources)”.

Mukulia stated that both the Audit Commission and the internal Audit Unit reported irregularities in all expenditures related to the Peace Facility.

He urged the committee to investigate unathorised accounts and funds managed by the former Secretary General, along with identifying the individuals responsible for these actions.

The legislator presented documents alleging that the Directorate of Finance has fabricated travels to claim Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA).

For instance, according to Mukulia, approval was granted for officials to attend a fictitious budget session in Nairobi, even though the session did not exist.

Mukulia urged the Committee to investigate the number of such fabricated sessions and put an end to misuse of regional resources.

Additionally, irregular imprest allocations were highlighted. Mukulia argued that the Directorate of Finance and the Secretary General’s office abused Regulation 40 of the Financial Rules and Regulations by allocating imprest without authorization from the Assembly.

This unauthorized allocation ranged from USD 5,000 to USD 20,000 for the Secretary General’s travels, diverting funds from approved activities.

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