Former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ally John Ngumi on Wednesday April 19 appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning and Communication, Information and Innovation to defend himself over the Ksh 415 million he was paid for his role as an advisor in the government’s Ksh6 billion buyout of Telkom, days before the August 2022 general election.
Ngumi explained that he was paid the huge sum by Jamhuri Holdings Limited (JHL) due to his high-level advice.
“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.
He was the highest single beneficiary in the transaction according to documents. JHL received Ksh 135.2 million, Anjarwalla and Company Advocates was paid Ksh 54 million.
Molo MP Kimani Kuria, who chairs the Finance and National Planning Committee, said he could not find any explanation to justify the amount Ngumi received.
“So, what kind of skills did you bring to this transaction that made you get paid this amount of money in five months? I am really struggling to understand,” he posed.
Kuria also pointed out that Ngumi only appeared in the picture after Helios Investors Chief Finance Officer Paul Cunningham revealed to the joint committee the amount the Eagle Africa Capital Partners owner was paid.
Ngumi is perceived as Uhuru’s point man as he chaired boards of powerful parastatals during Kenyatta’s tenure.
These parastatals included Kenya Airways, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Pipeline Company and Kenya Railways Corporation.
He has also previously served as the chairman of Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) and Safaricom.