Nasa flagbearer Raila Odinga on Wednesday said that an NGO associated with his daughter, Ms Rosemary Odinga, has never been registered and so it has never received any money as alleged by the NGO Coordination Board.
In a statement signed by his Communications Director Dennis Onyango, Mr Odinga said that the NGO — Key Empowerment Foundation Kenya — had initially applied for registration, submitted all the requirements and paid the registration fee but is yet to be issued with a certificate.
“Without the certificate, there is no way it could open a bank account and receive the monies alleged,” Mr Onyango said and challenged NGO Coordination Board CEO Mahamed Fazul to release to the public the actual account numbers he wanted frozen.
The board had, in a letter dated July 31 to Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge, said that the foundation received Sh530 million from the George Soros Foundation.
Mr Fazul accused Key Empowerment Foundation of accepting foreign funds to engage in subterfuge political activities globally and nefarious regime change tactics.
But Mr Onyango said Mr Fazul was only engaging in character assassination.
He alleged that Ms Odinga was not the real target but that the Nasa leader was being targeted by “those feeling cornered by him”.
“Fazul also knows that even in the application for registration submitted to the NGO Coordination Board, Rosemary Odinga does not appear in the list of members of the board,” Mr Onyango said.
He added: For most part of this year, she has been indisposed and is still recovering. Her frailty makes Mr Fazul’s attack all the more disgusting, callous and fraudulent.”
Mr Odinga’s family, he said, had instructed its lawyer to start proceedings in the High Court to have Mr Fazul declared unfit to hold public office “because of this fraud”.
“For many years, she has been involved in charitable work for under-privileged children, particularly in Kibra, without involvement in any fraud.
She has been a proponent for alternative agriculture to help farmers earn more from their land,” he added.
In the letter which alleged the money had been intended for political funding, Mr Fazul said that the transfer of the money was in breach of the NGO Coordination regulations.
“The purpose of this letter is to advise your office to immediately identify and mark for no debit and no credit all accounts held under the name of the foundation, and initiate immediate preservation of all funds held under the said foundation,” Mr Fazul said in the letter that listed six directors.
He also requested the Financial Reporting Centre to start investigations to ascertain the level of criminal culpability of the organisation and its directors for possible cover-up as a strategy for money laundering and diversion of donor aid.