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Treasury confirms payment of KES 1.4B Anglo Leasing debt

22 May 2014, 08:03 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The National Treasury Principal Secretary, Kamau Thugge Wednesday confirmed the payment of the controversial KES 1.4 billion Anglo-leasing debt to two foreign companies.

Speaking when he appeared before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee(PAC), Thugge said the payment was made on May 19 after President Uhuru Kenyatta authorized the Treasury to clear the debt.

"Mr. Chairman, I would like to confirm to this committee that payment of KES 1.4 billion was made on Monday, May 19 after receiving an email authorization from the presidential press written by State House Spokesperson, Manoah Esipisu confirming the president's authorization to make payment," Thuge told PAC chaired by Budalangi MP, Ababu Namwamba.

He stated that the money was paid through Nat West Bank to Traverse Smith and A.A. H Malit Company, UK law firms representing both First Mercantile Securities Corporation and universal Satspace in the filed case.

The PS said that the money had to be cleared with urgency following the President's authorization to save the country from daily fine of KES 264,000, and to rescue the government from shutting down its normal expenditure operations.

"We had to urgently make the payment to do away with the KES 1.4 billion blocking government's normal spending and to facilitate accessibility to the sovereign bond that would not only help in reduction of interest rate but also encourage investors to come in an effort to improve our economy," said Thugge.

He also noted that the Controller of Budget signed the approval of the payment to the two foreign companies.

However, PAC members faulted Treasury's "urgent payment" citing in the constitution that the ministry did not have at hand formal, undersigned document from the President authorizing the payment as required by law.

"The Constitution provides that the President should provide Treasury formal and signed documents if he authorizes any payment before responsible officers makes the transaction. You didn't have access to these crucial documents hence went against the Constitution," said Namwamba.

The Committee also demanded payment documents for verification as the PAC continues with investigating into the matter.

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