• High Commissioner says giving facts about Indo Power Solutions to the Tanzanian government was not endorsing it.
• He explains that a big pillar of missions is trade and investment facilitation and promotion.
Kenya's High Commissioner to Tanzania Dan Kazungu has denied involvement in the Sh18 billion cashew nut deal.
The former Mining Cabinet Secretary said he neither endorsed, or gave Indo Power Solutions, a Kenyan registered company, a clean bill of health to buy 100,000 tonnes of cashew nuts.
The deal was signed on January 30 between Tanzania's cereals and produce board director Hussein Mansour and Indo Power’s chief executive Brian Mutembei.
Kazungu said in a press statement on Wednesday the Minister for Trade and Industry had on December 28, 2018, written to the Tanzanian embassy in Kenya asking for a background check on Indo Power Solution.
The embassy confirmed the registration of the company in Kenya. In January, the minister wrote to Indo Power Solutions requesting the Kenyan High Commission in Tanzania to present the company’s documentation and the mission obliged.
The company was asked to furnish the mission with the general "know your customer" documentation for them to determine its legality.
“A big pillar of missions the world over today is trade and investment facilitation and promotion. That should never be misunderstood as providing a clean bill of health as the (Daily Nation online) article suggests," Kazungu said.
He said the mission wrote to the Industry and Trade PS on January 22, 2019, who confirmed that the company was registered in Kenya on December 10, 2008.
The company has a certificate of incorporation number PVT/2016/027129 and Kenya Revenue Authority PIN no P051615703B.
“The company had an import certificate no KRA201700650595 to operate in the business of importation and exportation of soya and pigeon beans, cashew nuts, wheat, sunflower and canola oils, black pepper and green mung etc," Kazungu said.
As such, the mission encouraged traders to be at liberty to do business with the company. "That isn’t endorsing. It is stating the fact. And with the registration facts above, we are struggling to understand the 'shadowy' label that has been given to the firm," he said.
The former Malindi MP stated 18 firms presented their bids for the cashew nuts, some from China and India. Only Kenya's Indo Power Solutions bid.
“The final decision to award or reject any bid rested with the National Cereals and Produce Board of Tanzania,” the envoy said.
He said encouraging and promoting Kenyan businesses is one of his major roles as the High Commissioner especially now when the volume of trade between Kenya and Tanzania has declined from Sh46 billion in 2012 to Sh28 billion in 2018.
“For me, these numbers are unacceptable and should deeply concern all of us who believe in regional integration. I consider it my cardinal duty and responsibility to ensure Kenyan investments in Tanzania are not only encouraged and facilitated but are actively promoted for shared prosperity and job creation,” he said.
Kazungu noted that Kenya is the number one country in Africa that has invested in Tanzania and stands at position five behind the UK, China, US, and India.
Kenyan firms have invested more than Sh170 billion in Tanzania and created more 56,000 jobs for Tanzanians.