…..The National Youth Enterprise Development Fund……How can one explain the Youth fund’s spending of Kshs.180 million on an I.C.T consultancy?…..The culprits should be made to face the Law.

……The National Youth Enterprise Development Fund…….Talkabout a well thought out ,noble and innovative idea,and,after implementation,it is turned into a cash cow by personnels who are entrusted to oversee,implement and turn around this brilliant innovation. That brilliant idea which is meant to help the less fortunate and vulnerable people in the society is finally drained to the last drop by well connected top echelons ,and,it is a bit pathetic.

And,this is what happened to the National Youth Enterprise Development Fund,which the unfoldings have un-earthed dirty and dubious corrupt deals that have been going on. Kenyans watched in bewilderment as Ms.Catherine Namuye,the embattled Youth fund,chief executive,tried to explain the Kshs.180 million scandal that happened under her watch.Ms.Namuye is not telling us anything new.

The revelations have caught up the Fund’s executives in an intricate cobweb of corruption where the fund has lost millions of monies in dubious corrupt deals .How can one explain the Youth fund spending of Shs.180 million on an I.C.T consultancy?

We know that the levels of corruption and influence-peddling in government institutions are appalling.We also know that corporate governance in statutory institutions have gone to the dogs as rent-seeking becomes the order of the day.

There is nothing new about boards of directors peddling influence to steal public money and executive officers being cast under the bus when things go awry.We also know that public procurement systems are amenable to the rich with friends in high places.

Preliminary investigations into the dealings at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund ,have exposed massive corruption in the organization.So far ,it has been revealed that the fund lost some Shs.180 million through dubious contracts.However ,reports indicate that the loss is much bigger and the full details will only be known once investigations are complete.

The purpose of setting up the fund was to provide capital to the youth to set up businesses and get into productive engagements.It was part of the strategy to tackle prevalent youth unemployment by empowering youth to be enterpreneurial ,generate income and take charge of their destiny.

And,after all those years since the fund was established there’s nothing much we can write home about.It has only ended up with draining off our coffers with corrupt deals.Nothing tangible has been achieved since it’s establishment.

It is therefore ,sad that such a noble initiative is undermined by corruption and that the perpetrators and their accomplices are not punished .The board members have no business being in office and the rational thing to do is to disband the team.

The culprits should be made to face the law.

According to Alex Njeru, Programme director,Eastern Africa Policy Centre,he wrote that the latest scandals in the Youth fund threatens to distract us from having a vital debate….whether throwing away money ,veiled as enterprise support ,is a prudent way of investing taxpayers’ money.There are no cited cases of transformative impact of these loans on the beneficiaries.No rags -to-riches story because of the fund’s benevolence.There is a fundamental problem at the Youth fund.

He further states that we must acknowledge that both the women and youth funds simply do not have the capacity to profile the risks,or,return on investment of the ventures they fund.But,perhaps the elephant in the room is what share of funds go to meet the organizations’ operational expenses rather than the funds’ core mandate.

Even from a superficial examination ,it is clear that a disaproportionately large amounts of resources go to fund mundane operational stuff.

He argues that there’s no evidence that any planning and impact projections had been made prior to the setting up of these institutions.That is not how a resource -poor country like Kenya spends Kshs.6 billion of hard earned taxpayer resources.I believe that entities such as the Youth and women funds should not be statutory agencies.


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