Uhuru Kenyatta ally John Ngumi on Telkom Saga
Uhuru Kenyatta ally John Ngumi on Telkom Saga

John Ngumi, an associate of former president Uhuru Kenyatta, received Sh400 million over the course of 20 weeks as part of a contentious Sh6.09 billion Telkom Kenya agreement.

The professional banker received compensation for his advice work in the context of a government repurchase deal between April and August 2022.

Ngumi said that Jamhuri Holdings, which was leaving Telkom Kenya, had paid him at a combined meeting of the ministerial committees on finance and national planning and communication, information, and innovation.

Just four days ahead of the 2022 general election, the Kenyan government spent Sh6.09 billion to buy a 60% interest in Telkom Kenya from an international private equity group located in the UK.

Ngumi said that on April 1, Jamhuri Holdings recruited him as an adviser. He was still the Africa and Kenya senior adviser for Helios at the time.

On August 5, 2022, the National Treasury transferred Sh6.09 billion and paid Jamhuri Holdings Limited, a Helios affiliate domiciled in Mauritius, in a deal that did not have legislative clearance.

However, MPs questioned why Ngumi, who was the negotiation's greatest individual benefactor, received such a sizable payment for work completed in only five months.

"In order to avoid blunders, the transaction required the best guidance available. As a result, they had to go out and find the very best in the field," according to Ngumi.

"I was paid that money because I am the best in the business," he said.

Ngumi said that his responsibilities consisted of promoting other parties' involvement, supervising the transaction's framework, and ensuring that it concluded successfully.

Margaret Nyakangó, the controller of the budget, informed lawmakers on February 14, 2023, that the National Treasury had overridden her in the transaction.

The CoB has the authority to restrict access to monies that may be used to break the law and must provide its approval before money can be withdrawn from the government's primary accounts.

Nyakan'go declined to give the go-ahead for the withdrawal of the billions needed to completely state-own Telkom Kenya by buying out Helios Investment Partners.

Former Secretary of the Treasury Julius Muia informed lawmakers that the agreement was legitimate. He told the legislators on April 5, 2023.

"The National Treasury met all specifications." According to him, the payment was legal and in the best interests of the Kenyan people.

Ngumi informed the committee on Wednesday that he was qualified for this payout since he had 35 years of expertise.

He continued, "I had previously assisted Helios in saving a firm that was dying named Mwananchi.

"I didn't impose the charge. I was the one who told them.

Francis Kimani, head of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning, said that despite this clarification, he was still having trouble understanding the counsel Ngumi provided to Jamhuri Holdings to justify the payment.

He said, "You became the deal's single highest beneficiary."


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