GRILLED BY SENATE COMMITTEE

Why Turkana risks losing Sh21 million to contractor

According to an audit report, the county government irregularly paid Sh21.28 million for a firefighting truck.

In Summary
  • Nanok told the committee chaired by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri that the supplier never delivered the equipment despite receiving payment.
  • Development projects worth Sh170.54 million have stalled because of incessant bandit attacks.
Turkana Governor Joseph Nanok in Parliament.
Turkana Governor Joseph Nanok in Parliament.
Image: FILE

Turkana residents risk losing Sh21.2 million should a court rule in favour of a contractor who allegedly failed to supply an equipment to the county despite receiving full payment.

This even as it emerged that development projects worth Sh170.54 million have stalled in the county due to incessant bandit attacks.

The revelations emerged when a Senate committee put Governor Josphat Nanok to task over his officers' failure to inspect and document medical supplies worth Sh155.55 million to ascertain their quantity and quality.

Nanok appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee to respond to audit queries raised by the Auditor General in 2017-18.

According to the audit report, the county government irregularly paid Sh21.28 million for a firefighting truck. 

“In addition, procurement records such as requisitions, tender advertisements, evaluation, award committee minutes, inspection acceptable and logbook were not availed for audit,” the report reads.

While explaining that the equipment was budgeted for in 2015-16 financial year, Nanok told the committee chaired by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri that the supplier never delivered the equipment despite receiving the cash.

“The contract was awarded to M/s Winston International Ltd upon receiving a payment of Sh21, 280, 780 based on the bank guarantee from the Diamond Trust Bank Ltd.

“The contractor, however, failed to deliver the truck as per the contract which led the county government to go to court to sue the company,” Nanok said.

While the court ruled in the county’s favour to recover the money plus 13 per cent interest, the firm appealed the ruling.

The appeal is pending. But the senators took issue with the governor, demanding to know whether the county officers did due diligence before awarding the contract to the company.

“Do your officers do due diligence? Because in most of the queries here, it is either contracts have been terminated or the contractor has failed to deliver. Who is so hard for your officers to deal with these issues that appear chronic in Turkana?” Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei posed.

The county boss also found himself between a rock and a hard place after the lawmakers pressed him to explain why officers failed to inspect, document and verify the quality and quantity of medical supplies.

The pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical supplies worth Sh155.55 million were directly delivered to various hospitals in the county by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

“However, the inspection and acceptance reports availed were done without the committee physically receiving and inspecting the goods. Requisitions from health facilities were also not availed for audit verification,” the report says.

But the governor said the materials were supplied directly to peripheral health centres and dispensaries by Kemsa and were inspected by the health facility committees.

Nanok, however, moved the committee while responding to a query about 10 projects worth Sh170.54 million initiated by his administration but have stalled.

He narrated how contractors have been forced to abandon sites because of frequent bandit attacks and vandalism of machinery and other forms of insecurity.

“Many of our projects have stalled not because there is no budgetary allocation for them but because of the bandit attacks. It is so serious, Mr chairman,” Nanok said.