Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ally John Ngumi on Wednesday, April 19, defended the Ksh415 million payment in a period of 5 months for his role as an advisor in the government’s Ksh6 billion buyout of Telkom, days before the August 2022 polls.
Appearing before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning and Communication, Information and Innovation, Ngumi explained that he was paid by Jamhuri Holdings Limited owing to his vast experience in the business industry.
He attributed his skills to the revival of companies while contracted to a UK private equity firm, Helios Investment Partners.
“I was paid because I am the best in business and I had already helped Helios revive a company that was on its deathbed. They valued my advice against taking legal action against the Government of Kenya. It wasn’t me imposing a fee on them,” Ngumi stated.
Explaining how he landed the role, Ngumi detailed that Helios, the company he was already contracted to, finances Jamhuri Holdings Limited.
According to documents tabled to the committee, Ngumi was the single highest beneficiary in the transaction.
The MPs are probing the Ksh6.2 billion payment to Helios Investors through Jamhuri Holdings Ltd without the approval of the National Assembly in August 2022.
Molo Member of Parliament Kuria Kimani, who chairs the Finance Committee, also put to task Karim Anjarwalla of Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates, who was questioned on his role in Jamhuri Holdings Limited.
Kimani wondered why Jamhuri Holdings financed a loan totaling Ksh6.8 billion and made payments to different agents to the tune of Ksh6.7 billion and currently has a balance of Ksh135 million.
At the same time, he pointed out that Anjarwalla’s law firm received Ksh57.1 million in payments as legal fees.Read More: The kenyan Diplomats behind the Ksh 6 Billion Telkom Kenya Buyout Scandal
“We were not legal representatives for both Jamhuri Holdings Limited and the Government of Kenya, we were only legal representatives of Jamhuri Holdings Limited and have documents supporting that. The government got independently advised, I did not advise the government in regards to this transaction,” Anjarwalla replied.
Ngumi was perceived as Uhuru’s point man as he chaired boards of powerful parastatals during Kenyatta’s reign.
These included Kenya Airways, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Pipeline Company and Kenya Railways Corporation.