•Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations are investigating an alleged Sh2.7 billion tender scam at KPA
•KPA chairman Joseph Kibwana says the board is cooperating with all investigative agencies to facilitate conclusion of the investigations
Kenya Ports Authority has suspended all new procurement "with immediate effect", the board has announced.
The announcement comes is in the wake of an ongoing probe by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations of an alleged Sh2.7 billion tender scam.
On Friday, board chairman Joseph Kibwana said KPA officers have on several occasions been called upon "to shed light on various aspects of matters raised," which they have complied.
"The authority is facilitating its staff to honour summons and the officers have dutifully responded to those requests," Kibwana said.
In a statement to newsrooms, Kibwana said the authority was reviewing its leadership and management processes and internal control measures to improve service delivery.
"The board has, therefore , suspended all new procurements in the authority with immediate effect, until further notice," Kibwana said.
He said the board was in the meantime cooperating with all investigative agencies to facilitate and support the conclusion of the investigations.
"The board has confidence that the investigations will be carried out conclusively," the chairman said.
Tender wars at KPA have recently escalated, drawing in some officers from the DCI, with claims that some have been pushing for the interests of influential businessmen.
At the heart of the issue are leaked documents purportedly from the DCI which have recommended the prosecution of several top officials at KPA over procurement and payments of contracts.
Board members at KPA and a number of senior managers have since blamed some DCI officers for releasing reports including a charge sheet to influence the outcome of the probe.
“It is this fight that has seen some well-connected individuals leak some forged documents and purported charge sheet. One wonders how a charge sheet can be prepared yet investigations are on. As we speak, we have DCI officials at the Kisumu port conducting investigations,” a board member told the Star on Monday.
A section of port workers have defended embattled KPA managing director Daniel Manduku over alleged involvement in illegal tenders.
They claim a witch-hunt against Manduku driven by cartels and cowboy contractors who are out to eject the MD for blocking their illegal dealings at the port.