The National Treasury has accused CORD leader Raila Odinga of plotting to make a mess of Kenyan economy through his “flawed” Eurobond theft claims, saying that his claims are only bound to frighten away investors from embarking on reasonable investment in the country.
Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, who is among the three Treasury officials Mr Odinga had asked to resign lashed out at the claims of theft by the ODM leader, calling it “outright lies and underhanded attempt to subvert the truth for political gain at the expense of the Kenyan economy”.
Central Bank of Kenya chairman Mohamed Nyaoga also ordered Mr Odinga to withdraw his malicious remarks that connected him to the reported theft of Sh87.7 billion Eurobond funds before Monday.
Mr Rotich said different state-sanctioned audits, including those by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), had declared the Treasury free from any crime, still Mr Odinga had stood his grounds with his allegations.
In the words of Mr. Rotich,
“The Kenyan people must hold him to account for lost opportunities now and in the future. There is nothing new in his claims,”
“In this day and age, it is shameful that someone can cast aspersions on independent, reputable and highly regulated institutions such as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Citibank New York without evidence,”.
“Anybody who is sensible and well-intentioned will be able to see that the claims that are now being made by the former Prime Minister are false and misleading.”
Mr Rotich added that the former Prime Minister is only trying to spitefully ruin the reputations of public officers and institutions without presenting any evidence of unethical behavior. He called Raila’s allegations baseless, saying that the CORD leader in a bid to gain political significance trampled upon the country’s economy through sabotage by keeping away investors.
Mr Rotich also hinted on Friday that there were no missing funds because the government received the Eurobond money, which increased the CBK forex reserves.
Quoting Mr. Rotich:
“The SWIFT transfer documents and the bank statements from the JP Morgan Chase Bank and CitiBank relating to these transactions were shared with Parliament, the Auditor-General, investigators and the media and they were posted on the National Treasury’s website.
As indicated earlier, it is evident to well-meaning Kenyans that the money was received at the CBK,”
In a statement, the Cabinet Secretary spoke about the questions as regards the seven letters, which instructed the Central Bank to make transfers to the Consolidated Fund and which Mr Odinga had described as unconvincing, saying that it was senseless and stupid for anybody to suggest that the letters were not authentic.
“These were the transfer instructions to the CBK to move the funds from the Sovereign Bond Account to the National Exchequer Account.
We have shared the letters with the Auditor-General, the Controller of Budget, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Criminal Investigations, who have confirmed that the funds were received into the National Exchequer Account from the Sovereign Bond Account at the CBK, from where the Controller of Budget authorised the withdrawals.
We also have posted them onto the National Treasury website for public consumption,” Mr Rotich added.
Dr Thugge also blamed Mr Odinga of not having full understanding of the Eurobond transaction before leveling his allegations against innocent people. He revealed that Kenya got an equivalent amount of money in shillings from the CBK, which bought the dollar reserves deposited in the Fed Bank.
“We sold the dollars to the CBK, which created a shilling account here in Kenya and put the money in the sovereign account so the $999 million became CBK money,” he says.
The PS said the CBK reserves increased in the same amount as that wired to the Fed Bank.
He explained that the mix-up of reference numbers on letters directing the Central Bank of Kenya to transfer Eurobond billions to the Consolidated Fund is no more than an administrative issue.
“The referencing is a clerical issue and I just need my staff to tell me how they were filing it but this is just an administrative issue and it does not point to any loss of money. The letters were internal memos to the Central Bank. The principal issue in this matter is if money was lost or not. But records are very clear that all the money was accounted for”, he stated.
Recall that on Thursday, Mr Odinga raised concerns on the whereabouts of Sh87.7 billion of the Eurobond proceeds, arguing that top Treasury and Central Bank officials acted under instructions from someone senior in the Jubilee administration to cover up what he described as the “grand robbery of Kenya”.
Mr Odinga accusations reportedly have set the stage for legal suit as the people he linked to the missing fund threaten to file a defamation case in court without informing him if he fails to provide full and detailed particulars of their alleged role in the alleged Eurobond scandal.