Come clean on Sh17bn oil, Omtatah tells Murkomen, Chirchir

The senator says the oil was bought by the government with money 'stolen' from Consolidated Fund.

In Summary
  • The senator  says a paper trail by the government shows that the oil was purchased using money unconstitutionally withdrawn.
  • He says the two CSs have a lot that they are hiding from Kenyans regarding the Oil and the relationship with Njeri.
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.
Image: FILE


Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has weighed in on the Sh17 billion oil saga and asked two cabinet secretaries to explain to Kenyans the real story behind the issue.

In a statement on Saturday, the legislator, wants Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen and his Petroleum Counterpart Davis Chirchir to come out and tell the truth about what they know.

The Sh17 billion saga involves businesswoman Ann Njeri Njoroge who claimed that the government irregularly stole her oil that was destined for Kenya.

She argued that she was allegedly detained by state detectives as the government emptied a ship that was carrying the oil at the Port of Mombasa.

However, Omtatah claimed that there is more than meets the eye and that the two CSs could know quite a lot of information on the issue that they are hiding from Kenyans.

Without providing any evidence to support his claims, Omtatah alleged that Njeri was just a front of government officials whom he said were the real architects of the saga.

''I challenge Petroleum and Mining CS Chirchir and Transport CS Murkomen to stop fooling the nation and come clean on their relationship with Ms Njeri,'' he said in a statement.

The lawmaker and rights and justice activist alleged that the government could have unconstitutionally released Sh17 around June this year which he suspects was used to buy the oil.

"As per the Statement of Actual Revenue and Net Exchequer Issues gazetted by Prof. Ndung'u, the CS Treasury, vide Gazette Notice No. 9734 of July 13, 2023, the ministry withdrew from the Consolidated Fund some Ksh17,224,718,632 in June 2023, at the closure of the FY 2022/2023, for subsidies to private financial enterprise," read Omtatah statement in part.

Omtataha says that as per the statement of actual revenue and net exchequer issues that were gazetted on the said date, the money was used to subsidise items listed as private financial enterprises.

He argues that whereas what was financed by the money is not disclosed by the national treasury, there is a direct correlation between the Sh17 billion which was withdrawn and the contested oil with Njeri.

''I have reasons to suspect that Ms Njeri, who from all indications could not have raised the Sh17 billion, which was used to purchase the fuel, is the private financial enterprise that received the Sh 17 billion from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining,'' Omtatah said.

He insists that the government's own paper trail demonstrates that the Sh17 billion diesel consignment was bought using money ''stolen from the consolidated fund''.

The lawmakers argue that the government concealed the evidence of the trail through a supplementary budget that was approved by the National Assembly to the tune of Sh43.4 billion.

He said the amount approved exceeded the 10 per cent limit set by the law as it was more than five thousand times.

''As I inspected the ministry's books, it emerged from the 2022/2023 supplementary budget dated March 2023 that the Sh5,989,000,000 approved by the National Assembly in the original budget was fraudulently changed to a fictitious figure of Sh20,360,000,000 that was not approved by Parliament,'' Omtatah says.

Murkomen and Chirchir are yet to respond to Omtatah's statement.

They have previously explained the contested oil issue.

Chirchir admitted directing Ann Njeri to record a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) after complaining that the government seized her consignment. 

"The consignment was brought in by a company called Galana and it has been discharged. So, we want to know the truth but the case is in court at the moment," the CS stated during a tree-planting exercise in Bomet on November 13.

Murkomen, on the other hand, alleged that Njeri went to claim the consignment after it had been released to owners who demanded it.

"The owners of the consignment came with the papers and were given the consignment. KPA's work was to look at the documentation of the shipment, verify it with the papers of those who came to claim it and release it," Murkomen said.

Speaking after presenting Njeri at Mombasa Law Court, lawyer Cliff Ombeta had maintained that was the owner of the shipped consignment.

He claimed that the government stole fuel before ''kidnapping her.''

"She was also threatened to return the other four consignments she was to bring. The court had ordered the ship to be detained, but it was discharged. The ship's captain also confirmed that he was threatened over the matter, with the people accusing him of colluding with Ann.''

"What kind of law is this? If the government itself is corrupt, then how can we operate? She has retrieved oil consignments on many occasions, so why is it a problem now?" 


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