State advertising agency boss, former ICT PS to be charged over Sh122m fraud

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji speaks during a Reuters interview in Mombasa, Kenya July 5, 2018. REUTERS
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji speaks during a Reuters interview in Mombasa, Kenya July 5, 2018. REUTERS

DPP Nordin Haji wants former ICT PS Sammy Ishiundu and Government Advertising Agency (GAA) Director Dennis Chebitwey charged for allegedly approving fraudulent payments of Sh122million to unscrupulous media houses.

In a statement on Saturday, Haji said the allegedly siphoned funds were meant for the payment of advertising to media houses.

"I am satisfied that Sammy Ishiundu Itemere, the then Principal Secretary, State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications in the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, approved fraudulent payments of Sh122,335,5000 to the aforementioned persons and companies," the DPP said.

On August 8, the DPP directed the DCI to carry out investigations into the procurement services from the media and the failure to honour contracts by the ministry of ICT and GAA.

The DCI is currently investigating the loss of Sh2.5 billion at the State advertising agency.

"The government had allocated GAA funds for media advertisement by various ministries, departments and agencies. However, these funds were paid to spurious media houses," Haji said in the statement.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula was arrested by DCI detectives on Friday evening in connection to the matter.

Savula allegedly received the Sh122 million alongside his wives Melody Ringera, Hellen Kemboi and six other media firms.

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The DPP has also listed more than 20 other individuals linked to the fraudulent payments.

They are to be charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, abuse of office and obtaining money by false pretence.

Other charges are making a document without authority and aiding the commission of a felony.

"The impact of corruption and siphoning of funds meant for the payment of media houses has undermined the freedom and independence of the media," Haji said.