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Kiandutu National Youth Service (NYS) Slum Programme has been suspended for at least two weeks pending what our sources say, the outcome of the investigations on the alleged loss of Sh791 million in a scandal allegedly involving six companies.

When our Thika Town Today team visited the slum this morning, we came across the NYS officers/recruits filling in forms to allow them break camp for at least a fortinight. According to our sources, they were under instruction not to divulge any information about the exercise. They could be seen making photocopies of these forms and vanishing into their camp for the release.

Speaking to our Thika Town reporters on the ground, one of the slum cohorts who spoke in camera, informed that they were all summoned yesterday to receive the sad report of their 'temporary' termination of their contracts. No explanation was given for the order other than they were not supposed to report to work this morning.

Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, under whose docket the NYS is placed, said yesterday that investigations identified fraudulent payments made to suppliers of road construction and building materials.

Names of 21 officers had been submitted to her and recommended for prosecution. They included Ministry of Devolution’s Joel Kanyi Karenju, Francis Kariuki, Jennifer Manyara Mugure and Roda Kavu Makau. Others are NYS officers Adan Karakhe, Samuel Wachenje, Hendrick Nyongesa Pilisi, Naftaly Githinji, Ruth Njeri Hihu, Charles Onsase Nyaachi, Mary Wangui Mbuthia, Ezekiel Karanja Kamau, James Gitau Kanuthu, Samuel Kilonzi, Fredrick Okello Nasiche, Regina Nyambura Mungai, Philip Joshua Otinga, Jane Wangeci Gichuki, David Dicks Alunga, Titus Libondo and Chemos Kororia Ndiema.

We also learnt that there were also numerous cases of fraud on the ground which involved the local leadership on the ground. Our sources told us of some elders and cluster representatives habouring so many ghost workers whose money ended up into their pockets.

 There were reports of these people enrolling their friends and relatives who never attended duty but only availed themselves for pay and meetings.  Others were said to be taking advantage of the locals' plight to demand bribe in return for employment.

This revelation is a real setback to the noble efforts of the government to elevate the lives of slum residents. Right now, several families have been left in dilemma as they are not sure whether their contracts, which have been for past few weeks being their only lifeline, will be renewed. 

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