MPs tell PM to resign over youth project scam

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Three Members of Parliament have asked Prime Minister Raila Odinga to resign over the misappropriation of Sh 4.3 billion earmarked for the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Turkana North MP Ekwe Ethuro, Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa and former Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala said the Prime Minister must take political responsibility and step aside immediately to pave way for investigations.

The MPs said the PM who has been calling for resignation of ministers whose dockets have been rocked by similar scams must lead by example and step aside.

Speaking on Sunday during a political rally at Nambale in Busia county, the legislators vowed to table the issue in parliament to pressure the Prime Minister to resign.

Activisit Okiya Omtatah for the Kenyans for Justice and Development Trust echoed similar sentiments and told the PM to take political responsibility for the scandal.

" The PM has all along been a vocal champion for integrity. Please, put your money where your mouth is by vacating office immediately until you are cleared in a credible process" said Omtatah.

World Bank has cancelled the multi-billion shilling project and now wants a refund of the money spent so far.

Tax payers will be expected to foot the bill once the full extent of the losses is revealed.

The bank had offered a grant of Sh4.3 billion (US$43 million) to support the  project which aims to reduce the vulnerability of unemployed youth by offering a line of income for participation in infrastructure projects.

About 190,000 youths were supposed to have benefited from the latest phase of the initiative which was expected to have been significantly expanded due to the financing from international aid agencies.

But a World Bank financial management review found that millions of shillings meant for young Kenyans had instead been paid to a number of senior officials in the PM’s office in contravention of the agreement between the bank and the government and in breach of procurement procedures.

The review identified a number of officials in the PM’s office who had spent up to Sh37.5 million on seminars which never took place, illegal allowances and payments to companies for services which do not appear to have been rendered.

Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa said the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme was just a conduit of siphoning public funds which end up in the pockets of a few individuals.

He urged the government to come up with a clear policy that would address the issue of unemployment among the youth once and for all.

Source- http://www.kbc.co.ke/news.asp?nid=73098

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