MPs go after ex-Treasury chief Stanley Kamau over Telkom deal

Stanley Kamau,

Mr Stanley Kamau, the immediate former acting director-general, Public Investments and Portfolio Management (PIPM) at the National Treasury.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The role played by Mr Stanley Kamau, the immediate former acting director-general, Public Investments and Portfolio Management (PIPM) at the National Treasury that saw the government pay Sh6.2 billion to acquire Telkom Kenya Limited, is now the subject of investigations by MPs into the transaction.

MPs' suspicions came after their scrutiny of documents presented by Mr Bernard Ndung’u—the Director-General Accounting Services and Quality Assurance, National Treasury—revealed how Mr Kamau played a central role that led to the release of the funds.

The documents before the Finance and National Planning and Communications, Innovation and Information committees of the National Assembly jointly investigating the matter, show that the deal to acquire Telkom by the government was permitted by the National Security Council (NSC) and the Cabinet.

As the MPs inquired into the payment of the funds, they also questioned Mr Kamau’s deployment at the Treasury to be in charge of PIPM, the initiator of the acquisition.

“He is a trained engineer and with no academic background in economics, finance or accounts—the prerequisites for DG-PIPM,” said Molo MP Kuria Kimani, the Finance and National Planning Committee chair.

Information posted on the National Treasury website shows that Mr Kamau has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Nairobi and is a registered engineer with the Engineers Registration Board of Kenya. The site further indicates that he has attended “several finance and management courses in Kenya, Europe, Asia, Africa and America” and served as an alternate director/board member in a number of state corporations.

“How did he find himself at the National Treasury managing public investments? Was he really qualified for that position?”Mr John Kiarie (Dagoretti South MP and Communications committee chair) asked.

Mr Ndung’u told the MPs that the budget to fund the transaction was approved under Article 223 of the Constitution—supplementary budget I for the 2022/23 financial year.

“The request was made by the Principal Secretary National Treasury as the accounting officer and approved by the Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury,” said Mr Ndung’u.

The PIPM directorate is responsible for coordinating, managing and providing leadership in government investments and public enterprises, assets and liabilities in government, public investment management, public private partnerships and government pensions. At the time of the transaction, Dr Julius Muia was the Treasury Principal Secretary, with Mr Ukur Yatani as Cabinet Secretary. However, a look at the documents by the MPs revealed that after the NSC and the Cabinet approved the acquisition, Mr Kamau made a request to Dr Muia “as the accounting officer”.

He told Dr Muia that an NSC sitting on April 1, 2022, approved government acquisition of 60 per cent shareholding of Helios Investors LLP/Jamhuri Holdings from Telkom Kenya.

“The NSC, in its meeting held on April 1, 2022, approved the proposal by Helios to exit Telkom. Consequently, a share purchase agreement was signed between the government of Kenya and Helios,” Mr Kamau said in his July 25, 2022 memo to Dr Muia.

On the same day, Dr Muia wrote to Mr Yatani notifying him of the urgency to conclude the transaction and the payment be appropriated under supplementary budget I for 2022/23. The request was approved by Mr Yatani.

When questioned by the MPs whether the transaction was aboveboard, Mr Ndung’u threw the buck at the doorsteps of the DG- PIPM. “The substance of the transaction is best addressed by the Directorate of Public Investments and Portfolio Management, who are in charge of evaluating public investments and making appropriate recommendations,” he told the joint committee. “Who negotiated the payment on behalf of the government?” Mr Kimani asked, saying that is the question yet to be answered by all government officers who are considered persons of interest and have since been grilled by the joint sitting.

Mr Ndung’u said he was not competent to answer the question. “I don’t know. That question can be answered by the directorate of PIPM.”

The revelations saw the MPs question the intentions of Mr Kamau in the transaction after a scrutiny of the documents revealed glaring inconsistencies. Mr Kimani accused Mr Kamau of generating letters related to the deal and receiving them. “One writes the letter and receives the same letter they wrote the same day. The same individual replies to his own letters.”

He pointed to the July 25, 2022 letter purported to have been addressed to Dr Muia by Mr Yatani but instead has Mr Kamau’s signature. “The letter does not indicate that Mr Kamau is signing on behalf of Mr Yatani. This begs questions,” said the Molo MP.

The same letter purports to make reference to a letter dated July 27, 2022, that did not exist at the time the reference was being made. “Mr Kamau signs the letter as Ukur Yatani, yet he is not the Cabinet Secretary. It is a clear indication that he did not sign the letter on behalf of Mr Yatani but purported to originate a letter to the PS and signed as the CS yet he is not,” Mr Kimani said.

Mr Ndung’u said only the PS can sign letters on behalf of the CS “but on delegated authority from the CS—which must be in writing,” a revelation that saw the MPs demand to know the influence Mr Kamau wielded at the National Treasury.


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