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February 23, 2019

We will only clear WTO meeting debts once audit is ready - KICC

KICC acting managing director Nana Gecaga at KICC during the UNCTAD conference in Nairobi on July 18.
Photo/Enos Teche.
KICC acting managing director Nana Gecaga at KICC during the UNCTAD conference in Nairobi on July 18. Photo/Enos Teche.

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre says it will not be bullied or coerced into making irregular payments to suppliers claiming Sh716 million worth of receipts.

KICC managing director Nana Gecaga said they are awaiting the Auditor General’s report to establish KICC’s spending during the 2015 World Trade Organisation conference and whether or not it is culpable for the debt.

“As KICC and a parastatal we are tasked to ensure that we spend taxpayer money the correct way so if procurement processes were not followed in said prior events that is what we are going to do,” she said. “Obviously with that, we have to wait for the Auditor General’s report.”

Towards the end of July, three firms including Greenstar Systems Limited, Congress Rental South Africa and Mosound Limited wanted KICC’s properties attached over the outstanding debt.

KICC was forced to move to court seeking to bar its properties from being auctioned to recover the pending bills.

About 28 firms are expecting payment including the Kenya Revenue Authority which KICC owes Sh80 million.

“We are very aware about WTO and the fact that it happened and that procurement laws were not followed by suppliers and by the organization but that does not mean we are going to be bullied or coerced into making payments that are not irregular,” Gecaga said.

The fresh audit is expected to be completed towards the end of November right around the time KICC is set to host the First Global Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy slated for November 26-28.

The state corporation yesterday marked its 45th year since it was opened in 1973 with a promise of renovation to boost the tourism sector through the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions initiative.

“Once that report comes out soon, I know that as KICC this is something that we are looking to move forward from,” said Gecaga.

KICC plans upgrade its meeting rooms for competitiveness in the region and raise the centre’s capacity.

“We are also working through strategic partnerships with both county and national governments to enhance the tourist experience,” Gecaga said.

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