NAIROBI. – Millions of dollars sent to various non-governmental organisations in Kenya by donors cannot be accounted for, a senior official of a regulatory board has said.
NGO Co-ordination Board Executive Director Fazul Mohammed Yusuf said the money, in excess of 23,6 billion Kenyan shillings (about $224 391 450), could not be accounted for in the 2014 financial year.
He said they are also pursuing some organisations suspected to be financing acts of terrorism.
Yusuf was speaking during a news conference at Castle Royal Hotel in Mombasa.
He said about 3 000 NGOs have not complied with the law and that the board will reveal details and progress on investigations against them.
“Thirty percent of all the NGOs in Kenya have not complied with the law. We want to take them through capacity building and the various areas of compliance with the law.
“We are giving them some time to comply failure to which we shall deregister them,” he warned.
Yusuf said the government will soon establish a fund where all donors currently funding projects aimed at countering violent extremism will have a common pool from which those engaged in de-radicalisation programmes can funding.
He said the unaccounted for cash came from sources that cannot be disclosed or accounted for.
“That is a worrying trend for us as the regulator and the government.
“We really want to know where this money has gone to and that is why we want to do a closer collaboration between the regulator and security agencies,” he said.
He said they suspected the funds which cannot be accounted for could have been used in money laundering or funding terrorism activities. He also cited diversion of donor aid as another reason for the money not being accounted for.
Yusuf said the board was worried that if the money gets into the wrong hands it could pose a threat to national security.
“Certainly, we can only suspect at this point that there have been cases of money laundering.
“NGOs also divert the cash for commercial businesses and a big percentage could also be used for financing terrorism,” he insisted.
He said Nairobi has the highest number of NGO’s followed by Nyanza, Western and Coast regions which focus mainly on health, HIV and Aids and reproductive health.
“NGOs that we suspect could be financing terrorism are mainly in vulnerable areas like the Coast and North Eastern region. Sh23,6 billion shillings is a lot of money. Currently we are investigating the NGOs to get to the bottom of this matter,” he added saying the rule of law must be upheld.
On Friday, the board held a closed-door meeting with the Mombasa County security committee led by County Commissioner Nelson Marwa at Uhuru na Kazi building to strategise on the operations of NGOs in the fight against violent extremism in the Coast region.
Yusuf said the fight against violent extremism will only be effective once it is done by the community-based organisations insisting that there must be a harmonised approach on countering violent extremism.
“It is in this regard that we want the NGOs working to counter violent extremism in the Coast region to have a co-ordinated approach to synchronise their activities in line with the national counter terrorism approach,” he said. – Daily Nation.