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Kenya Power Managing Director and Others Charged in Tender Graft Case

October 7, 2018

An anti-corruption court in Kenya is trying Kenya Power officers on charges of fraud in over Sh 159 million (US $1.6 million) of tender offers awarded.

The government of Kenya is trying Ken Tarus, Kenya Power’s managing director, and eight others associated with the company. The charges involve improper selection of companies for tender awards.

The case was brought to the courts by the World Bank, one of the major donors behind the funds intended for the tender, and other donors. It was quickly joined by senate and parliamentary Energy committees concerned about the investment.

The issue involves illegal prequalification of potential vendors by Kenya Power.

As one of many violations in the procurement process, as reported by internal Auditor, Mr. Charles Cheruiyot Kipng'eno, at least two members of the tender committee opened bids in violation of public procurement rules, early in the procurement process. He went on to say that, “The tender should have been cancelled as it was opened by two members Eng Evelyne Pauline Amondi [from the user department] and Mr. Bernard Githui Muturi  [secretary of the tender and evaluation committees] instead of three.” The auditor further said that after that breach, “the tender should have been cancelled”.

The court also received evidence that companies which had not applied to the tender had somehow been shortlisted through third parties and proxies, adding to the corruption concerns.

There was also an issue of leaking the audit report regarding the tender, which may have illegally disclosed information about the tenders and the potential bidders publicly before it was proper to do so. That audit report included information about the 525 applications which had been qualified for the tender, out of 1,354 applications for it.

The group of Dr. Tarus and the other eight have been charged with conspiracy to commit the offense of economic crime, by carelessly failing to comply with the procedures and guidelines relating to procurement which led to fraudulent payment of Sh 159,195,364.41 to companies that were improperly prequalified for labor and transport services, vide tender No KPI/9AA-2/PJT/16-17.

Copyright: North America Procurement Council Inc., PBC