NAIROBI (Reuters) – The Kenyan authorities arrested the head of the National Youth Service as part of a $ 100 million theft investigation, media reported Monday.
Kenya's chief prosecutor said the prosecution will begin immediately with all suspects named in an investigation by the director of the criminal investigation, even though those names have not yet been published.
Privately owned Citizen Television and K24 TV detained youth officer Richard Ndubai and an unspecified number of officers.
Citizen TV determined the number of those arrested at 16. She said that a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Public Services, Youth and Gender Services, Lillian Mbogo-Omollo, had surrendered to the police, accompanied by her lawyers.
Kenyan media reported that 1
Reuters was unable to contact Ndubai, who is in custody, for comment and was unable to contact his lawyer for comment.
Despite President Uhuru Kenyatta's commitment to leave office in his first election in 2013, critics say he is slow to prosecute senior officials. Only big names will break a culture of impunity, they say.
The reports have shocked many Kenyans, especially as they are following a 2015 scandal at the Agency, which aims to provide Kenya's young people with key skills and jobs.
Last week, investigators called more than 40 people, including Ndubai, to question the lost funds.
The prosecutor's office director said there were reasons to start a lawsuit against them all.
"The DPP has independently reviewed all request files associated with the ongoing investigation into #NYS and immediately instituted criminal prosecution against all the named suspects," the bureau said on its Twitter account.
The prosecutor's office asked Reuters to report later. Calls to the head of the criminal investigation remained unanswered.
Kenyatta blames the slow progress in the fight against corruption for the lethargy of some government agencies accused of eradicating plant breeding.
In 2016, the then head of the Kenyan anti-graft agency said Kenya loses one third of its state budget every year – or about $ 6 billion – in corruption.
While the Treasury denied that the losses were so great, Kenyatta instead accused corruption of reaching a level that threatened national security.
Reporting by George Obulutsa and Maggie Fick, editorial by Larry King