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Court Rescues Corrupt Nairobi County Clerk Jacob Ngwele

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The court has once again come to the rescue of embattled Nairobi county clerk Jacob Ngwele. He has spent more time in court corridors fighting over his position and on corruption charges than he has spent in office.

Ngwele served as the clerk from 2013 to 2019 when he was dismissed by the assembly.

The assembly in 2019 adopted a report by the powers and privileges committee stating that he was irregularly appointed.

Edward Gichana was appointed clerk in July by the Assembly board, but the Employment and Labour Relations Court annulled it for violating a court order that reinstated Ngwele.

Justice J Makau of Employment and Labour Relations Court declared that Ngwele’s appointment was above board and reinstated him as cerk.

The court order also barred appointment of an acting clerk from November 25, 2019. Ngwele was, however, unable to access the office after a section of MCAs hammered wood planks on the door and ordered the sergeant-at-arms not to allow him in the assembly precincts. In July, the assembly advertised the position and appointed Pauline Akuku as interim clerk. This led to the appointment and swearing in of Gichana as the clerk on July 28.

Ngwele moved to the court to challenge the appointment and sought orders to be reinstated as the substantive clerk.

On August 5, Lady Justice Onyango nullified Gichana’s appointment and asked Ngwele to step aside pending determination of the case. The judge further ordered the deputy clerk to take over functions of the clerk until the petition is determined.

Ms Elachi and Mr Ngwele have been involved in protracted dispute that began after their fallout in early 2018. Fights over the tender for the speakers’ residence and claims of corruption fueled the row between the two.

The feud resurfaced last year following the return of Ms Elachi as the assembly speaker. She was impeached in September 2018 but the court reinstated her in October 2019.

Immediately after her return, the speaker sent Mr Ngwele on compulsory leave to give room for investigations over alleged sabotage of the assembly despite a court order barring her.

Ms Monicah Muthami was appointed as acting clerk a week later effectively replacing Mr Ngwele at the board.

An ad hoc committee of the assembly was later formed which in its report revoked the appointment of Mr Ngwele as the assembly’s clerk on grounds of gross violation of Section 18(2) of the County Assembly Services Act.

Mr Ngwele was locked out of his office by MCAs allied to Speaker Elachi but he got reprieve from the court after his ouster struck out in November 2019.

In August 2018, Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele, his deputy Adah Onyango & 4 other accused persons were charged for conspiracy to defraud Nairobi City County funds amounting to Sh997,926.

Ngwele and co-accused in court facing corruption charges.

Appearing before Milimani Anti-Corruption Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi, the 6 were accused of fraudulently making the said payment to Primara Ventures for books not delivered to the Nairobi County assembly Resource Centre.

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Further investigations by Kenya Insights revealed how big boys fight with blood and tears to have their favorites script slots in the county’s board.

The County Assembly Board’s constitution board is not only suspicious but legally unbalanced, it’s constituted of the Speaker; Majority Leader, , Minority Leader, Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele and an outsider.

How for instance majority and minority leaders sit on the same board doesn’t make sense even in parliament it doesn’t exist. Being the most powerful board that cuts the deals, it’s constitution and members are carefully considered. Godfathers will want their loyalists to be at the helm.

Assembly’s Clerk Jacob Ngwele who has been jumping from the DCI offices to the courts defending himself against corruption accusations once again stands out as a controversial figure in the corrupt web. As we found out, his appointment to the county assembly remains questionable; he was handpicked from the National Assembly, and there’s no record showing the clerk’s position was ever advertised, this being a public office, goes the red flag. Mr Ngwele’s name was not tabled before the assembly for approval, making the appointment an “illegality” contrary to the County Assembly Services Act, Article 18 (2), on process of approving the appointment of a clerk.

A review of the Assembly’s funds cashbook according to audit report by Auditor General Ouko revealed that the money was irregularly transferred in 2016/2017 from the fund account to various other accounts without approval of the county executive committee member for finance. Consequently, the county assembly was in breach of law.

Ngwele admitted he irregularly reallocated Sh42 million meant for MCAs car loans. He told the Public Accounts Committee that he used the money to pay MCAs’ salaries and imprests. Of interest was the fact that he transferred the money from the loans fund account to the operations account without approval of finance executive as required by law.

Mr Ngwele’s woes began in 2018 after Speaker Beatrice Elachi called for investigation into multiple cases of alleged financial malpractice.

Ms Elachi wrote to the DCI headed by Mr George Kinoti that she discovered several instances of malpractice, including illegal procurement done by the Office of the Clerk. But Mr Ngwele swatted the allegations claiming that Ms Elachi had a personal interest in a Sh150 million tender for the acquisition of the Speaker’s residence, claims Ms Elachi denied and challenged him to corroborate which he has never done.

On the issue of Speaker’s residence, Kenya Insights discovered that the plan was a mastermind of not the speaker but allegedly Ngwele and a Sheriff Mwendwa, who works as an adviser in the legal department of National Assembly. Sheriff’s involvements in the county assembly’s businesses is questionable. How did they get the price before opening the financial which should be fine with the bidder? Details of the planned purchase of the house was leaked to the media when they failed to convince the speaker about it.

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Renovation of the kitchen, double payments and general flawing of procurement procedures within the county assembly prompted the speaker to invite DCI, EACC to investigate the board members and the theft loopholes within the assembly and that’s when hell broke loose. Suspiciously, Ngwele’s sister is also the head of the kitchen department. We’re told nepotism is rife in the assembly, accusations that should concern NCIC and relevant bodies.

Word on the street is after Ngwele was arrested by Haji after being reported to the DCI by Beatrice Elachi, he decided to take the war to the next level and that’s how the impeachment motion was rushed. According to sources talking to Kenya Insights, Ngwele who also doubles as the Chief Legal Adviser reached out to the majority and minority leader to help in fighting Elachi who by then was a big trouble for the anti corruption purge, her consistency against graft within the assembly placed her in the fire.

A review of the Assembly’s funds cashbook according to audit report by Auditor General Ouko revealed that the money was irregularly transferred in 2016/2017 from the fund account to various other accounts without approval of the county executive committee member for finance. Consequently, the county assembly was in breach of law.

Ngwele admitted he irregularly reallocated Sh42 million meant for MCAs car loans. He told the Public Accounts Committee that he used the money to pay MCAs’ salaries and imprests. Of interest was the fact that he transferred the money from the loans fund account to the operations account without approval of finance executive as required by law.

Mr Ngwele’s woes began in 2018 after Speaker Beatrice Elachi called for investigation into multiple cases of alleged financial malpractice.

Ms Elachi wrote to the DCI headed by Mr George Kinoti that she discovered several instances of malpractice, including illegal procurement done by the Office of the Clerk. But Mr Ngwele swatted the allegations claiming that Ms Elachi had a personal interest in a Sh150 million tender for the acquisition of the Speaker’s residence, claims Ms Elachi denied and challenged him to corroborate which he has never done.

On the issue of Speaker’s residence, Kenya Insights has discovered that the plan was a mastermind of not the speaker but allegedly Ngwele and a Sheriff Mwendwa, who works as an adviser in the legal department of National Assembly. Sheriff’s involvements in the county assembly’s businesses is questionable. How did they get the price before opening the financial which should be fine with the bidder? Details of the planned purchase of the house was leaked to the media when they failed to convince the speaker about it.

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Renovation of the kitchen, double payments and general flawing of procurement procedures within the county assembly prompted the speaker to invite DCI, EACC to investigate the board members and the theft loopholes within the assembly and that’s when hell broke loose. Suspiciously, Ngwele’s sister is also the head of the kitchen department. We’re told nepotism is rife in the assembly, accusations that should concern NCIC and relevant bodies.

Word on the street is after Ngwele was arrested by Haji after being reported to the DCI by Beatrice Elachi, he decided to take the war to the next level and that’s how the impeachment motion was rushed. According to sources talking to Kenya Insights, Ngwele who also doubles as the Chief Legal Adviser reached out to the majority and minority leader to help in fighting speaker who by now is a big trouble for the anti corruption purge, her consistency against graft within the assembly placed her in the fire.

Ngwele we’re told just like his County boss Sonko, has a reputation of secretly recording all dealings, he has some boardroom recordings implicating Guyo, Otieno and many others which he uses as leverage more of blackmail in my view. So he instructed the minority and majority leaders who were in the middle of all these scandals to ensure the speaker is impeached.

Since they’re all intertwined, the common enemy became the speaker because if the clerk is to go down, then he won’t alone. As part of Deal, Guyo and Otieno attempted to use their connections at DCI to have charges against Ngwele withdrawn and this allegation can be ascertained by CCTV footage at the Headquarters.

Ngwele was at one point caught up in a double payment on a tender which again we’re told was to a cousin but on DCI detection, he reversed the extra. Besides, despite his salary, he boasts a Landrover Discovery, there are accusations that he also made a Sh50M investment recently with Cytonn Investment  with his wife.

How the courts help characters with questionable track record is beyond belief. Once Ngwele had been charged he shouldn’t have been let anywhere near the office but he’s always taking advantage of his good connections in the justice corridors and keeps getting away.

He’s now back in office with Guyo to continue from where they had left.


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