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September 23, 2018

KPA bosses facing arrest this month over lost funds

EACC vice chairperson Sophia Lechupirit meets KPA board of directors and general managers on Monday /JOHN CHESOLI
EACC vice chairperson Sophia Lechupirit meets KPA board of directors and general managers on Monday /JOHN CHESOLI

Top officials at the Kenya Ports Authority are under investigation for allegedly violating procurement rules and might be arrested this month.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission said investigations are nearing completion. Commission spokesperson Yassin Amaro said they have compiled three files.

He said one file covers a probe of the activities of five KPA officials. Amaro said it has been underway for months and the Director of Public

Prosecutions would receive the files for action before September 30. A source at the port said one of the irregularities was inflation of the

prices of commodities. For instance, he said, price of bottled water was exaggerated and the bill runs into “hundreds of millions of shillings”.

He asked that he not be indentified. “I don’t want to narrow down to details to interfere with the probe. As we speak, our guys are still there

(at KPA),” Amaro told the Star on the phone yesterday.

EACC vice chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit met with these investigators on Monday and was briefed on the progress. She was pleased and encouraged the team to tight loose ends and produce a water tight case.

Lepuchirit lifted the lid on once covert operation when she met KPA board of directors and general managers at North Coast Hotel on Monday.

“In addition to the ongoing investigations over various malpractices in KPA, we are analyzing intelligence over more alleged corrupt and unethical acts with a view to launching additional investigations,” Lepuchirit said.

KPA is prone to such probes. In 2016, the managing director Gichiri Ndua and other four general managers were sacked over graft.

The managers were Twalib Khamisi (operations), Muthoni Gatere (legal services), Justis Nyarandi (corporate services) and Mohamed Morowa (security).

Transport CS James Macharia acted on a dossier compiled for the President by EACC and National Intelligence Services.

The dossier named those suspected of abetting crime in procurement and manipulating systems leading to massive revenue losses.

Lepuchirit said KPA is not short of staff who continue to perpetuate corruption and unethical conduct unperturbed.

“Indeed, some of them could be seated among us here and without blinking, looking at me straight in the eyes,” she said.

Lepuchirit said the suspects are responsible for “collusion to evade payment of taxes, embezzlement of public funds, demand kickbacks from clients and non-compliance with the law in relation to procurement”.

Other crimes she noted touch on financial management and recruitment.

“Today, the Commission sounds a warning and advises such individuals that gone are the days when one could dip his or her fingers into public coffers for long and successfully get away with it through manipulation of accountability systems,” the vice chairperson said.

Transport CS James Macharia acted on a dossier compiled for the President by the EACC and National Intelligence Services.

The dossier named those suspected of involvement in procurement malpractices and manipulating systems leading to massive revenue losses.

Lepuchirit said KPA is not short of staff who continue to perpetrate corruption and unethical conduct undisturbed.

“Indeed, some of them could be seated among us here and without blinking, looking at me straight in the eye,” she said.

Lepuchirit said the suspects are responsible for “collusion to evade payment of taxes, embezzlement of public funds, demanding kickbacks from clients and non-compliance with the law in relation to procurement”.

Other offences involvement recruitment, she said.

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