A National Super Alliance (NASA) diaspora fundraising group is entangled in accountability wrangle over Kshs. 1.7M it raised for Raila Odinga campaigns in the run to August 8th elections.
Claims of embezzlement of the funds has resulted to unceremonious closure of a diaspora WhatsApp group that served as a command center for the fund drive.
Under Kenya Patriotic Movement Lobby group (www.kepan254.org ), the diaspora online group mobilized funds to facilitate Adopt-a- Polling-station campaigns initiated by NASA.
However, organizers of the fund drive are said to have failed to account for 0.5 million shillings of the 1.7 million raised.
Bella Akinyi, one of the officials of the group blames Lister Nyarigo, who was the funds manager for the unaccounted funds.
The development prompted members of the group to take it to the WhatsApp group to demand for answers from the officials.
Akinyi accused Lister of utilising the funds without the the approval of the other 'Think-Tank members'.
Members of the think tank include George Osewe, Dan Onchweri, Bella Akinyi, Lister Nyaringo and Ombok Otieno, all who travelled to Kenya to deliver the cash to the opposition coalition.
"I questioned some of the expenses and I did not get a good answer except for the apartment which was paid as it was not safe for Bella to travel far from NASA secretariat in the middle of the night". Writes Bella.
Bella notes that about Kshs. 507,400 could not be accounted for.
Nyarigo attempted to explain to the group how they delivered the cash to NASA.
Lister Nyarigo wrote:
"I got a call from Winnie Odinga prior to the election who asked me to take the diaspora cash to Raila in his office at Capital Hill. ..... I later took the funds to Raila accompanied by Tegi Obanda from Canada, William Ololo from South Africa, and an ODM activist in Nairobi & Raila's friend lawyer Jane Matoke Njagi.
The total I took to Raila was Kshs. 700,000. Raila received as well and acknowledged the diaspora campaign in terms of ideas and other campaign support. He advised me to utilize the funds for hotel bills and legal fees for two Ghanaians and a Kenyan who got kidnapped by the flying squad at the height of the campaigns,".
She continued: "20K was used to file an happeas corpus in court for the two Ghanaians and a Kenyan. The cash given in Raila's office to Wakili Haron Ndubi. 34K was sent to Jaoko Oburu via MPESA who requested diaspora to bail out 9 NASA youths who were locked up in Nairobi,".
'We spent a total of Kshs. 530,000 for the adopt activities- two roadshows through deputy governor Ruth Odinga's request, water, and food for adopt volunteers at Jaramogi Odinga Foundation, media- print and electronic, airtime and transportation." She said.
This opened a heated discussion in the group. Here are some of the comments.
" From the posts I fear we may now risk revealing some details to the enemy. Can the admin who created this forum close at once. We can form another for a specific purpose if need" A member of the group said.
Boaz Barasa notes, "It's not hot just yet please don't go anywhere. Bring everybody back!"
Albert Musasia writes:
"Except for some expenses that need further explanations, I believe it's not necessary to divulge into sensitive expenditures. This could be fodder for Jubilee in the wake of Supreme Court case. Waking up to a headline RAILA'S DIASPORA CAMPAIGN TEAM BLA BLA..How embarrassing can that be...."
Another member adds: "How terrible. You don't know everyone on this forum and yet here you are venting out publicly. I can imagine tomorrow's newspaper headlines,".