EXPLAINER: Details of Controller of Budget Nyakang'o who is set to face charges

She enjoys security of tenure and can only be removed from office through a tribunal.

In Summary
  • She also holds a Master of Business Administration – Strategic Management option from the University of Nairobi.

  • Nyakang’o is also a Certified Sacco Professional which she earned at Strathmore University

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakango takes oath of office at the Supreme Court, Nairobi, on December 4, 2020.
Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakango takes oath of office at the Supreme Court, Nairobi, on December 4, 2020.

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang'o was appointed to the high-profile office in December 2019.

The office of the Controller of Budget is independent in line with Article 248 of the Constitution.

The office of the Auditor-General is the other independent office with security of tenure and provisions for an elaborate process for removal from office.

Nyakang'o was nominated by Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and subsequently vetted and approved by Parliament.

Before being appointed as CoB, she was a lecturer for a year at KCA University.

She taught Public Sector Finance from January 2019 to December 2019.

Before she was appointed CoB, Nyakang'o served as the Director of Finance and Administration at the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics for a decade between November 2008 and October 2018.

Her first major job was as Principal Auditor at the Controller and Auditor’s General Office where she worked between November 1983 and October 1994.

Other places she has worked include; Lake Basin Development Authority, Bob Morgan Services Limited, Harambee Sacco Society, Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology and Mitun Business Consulting Limited.

Educational background

Nyakong’o is an accomplished academician and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

She also holds a Master of Business Administration – Strategic Management option from the University of Nairobi.

Nyakang’o is also a Certified Sacco Professional which she earned at Strathmore University.

Her other certifications and licences include; Certified Public Accountant of Kenya, Certified ISO 9001:2008 Internal Auditor and Certified Sacco Professional.

Nyakang'o was born in 1959.

Net worth 

When she appeared before parliament for vetting in 2019, Nyakangó told MPs that she was worth Sh68 million.

Margaret Nyakango termed her assets as modest.

Her estimate included half of the value of her family home, which she acquired through a mortgage.

“We have just finished repaying the loan and I have taken half of that house and put it in my declaration as part of my net worth,” Nyakango told MPs 

She made the declaration before the National Assembly’s Committee on National Planning where she blamed the disregard for budgets for the mounting pending bills.

The main task of the Controller of Budget is to approve the release of cash from the government’s main account — the Consolidated Fund Services — to ministries, counties and State agencies.

Nyakango succeeded Agnes Odhiambo whose eight-year non-renewable term ended in August 2022.

Nyakang'o public utterances

The Controller of Budget last month claimed that the National Treasury had inflated her salary budget three times, contrary to what she is paid.

Appearing before the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO), Nyakang'o revealed the case was similar to several other government officials.

She said that the rot in the National Treasury had partially contributed to the high cost of living in the country.

"When I was doing the budget for consolidated funds services, this is where my salary is paid from, I found out that my salary was budgeted at three times what I'm paid. I am the only state officer in my institution so there is nothing like confusion there," she said.

"I'm all alone. So I asked them why is the budget showing three times what my annual salary was. And it was like that for all the state officers. I have not received the answer to date."

In March, Nyakang'o revealed how she was put under pressure to release Sh15 billion days before the 2022 General Elections.

Nyakang'o said that she was threatened to release Sh6 billion for the purchase of Telcos and Sh9.5 billion from the annuity fund a few days before the elections.

She said this when she appeared before the Parliamentary Public Petitions Committee on March 7, 2023.

Nyakang'o arrested

She was arrested in Mombasa on Tuesday and is set to face charges.

The CoB and 10 others are supposed to face charges including conspiracy to defraud contrary to Section 317 of the Penal Code, operating a Sacco without a Licence Contrary to Section 24 as read with Section 66 of the Sacco Societies Act, 2008, forgery and uttering a false document c/s 353 of the Penal Code.

This is in connection to a complaint made against her and 10 other people in 2016. This was before she became the CoB.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions approved the charges in a letter to the DCI on November 30.

Removal from office

Nyakangó has security of tenure running for eight years since her swearing-in. 

The tenure of holders of independent offices like the CoB are protected in the Constitution and therefore they are not removed from office arbitrarily.

Article 251 of the Constitution provides the grounds for removal from office for a Constitutional officeholder.

They include serious violation of the Constitution or any other law, including a contravention of Chapter Six and gross misconduct, whether in the performance of the member’s or office holder’s functions or otherwise.

They can be removed from office for physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of office, incompetence or bankruptcy.

 A person desiring the removal of a member of a commission or of a holder of an independent office on any ground may present a petition to the National Assembly setting out the alleged facts constituting that ground.

The National Assembly shall consider the petition and, if it is satisfied that it discloses a ground, shall send the petition to the President.

On receiving a petition, the President may suspend the member or officeholder pending the outcome of the complaint.

He shall also appoint a tribunal to investigate the charges.

The tribunal shall investigate the matter expeditiously, report on the facts and make a binding recommendation to the President.

The President shall act per the recommendation within thirty days.

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