Sh4.8bn scandal rocks Office of the President

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto with Chief Registrar Anne Amadi and Court of Appeal President Justice William Ouko at the Supreme Court on February 28, 2019. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto with Chief Registrar Anne Amadi and Court of Appeal President Justice William Ouko at the Supreme Court on February 28, 2019. /PSCU

Anti-graft detectives have unearthed an audacious attempt by dishonest state officials to steal Sh4.8 billion through fictitious security contracts in the Office of the President.

In an elaborate and brazen plot that has baffled EACC investigators, top officials in the State Department for Correctional Services irregularly awarded 10 classified tenders and were about to pay Sh3.6 billion upfront.

The State department oversees prisons and is domiciled in the Ministry of Interior, currently headed by Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i.

The contracts have now returned to haunt former Correctional Services Principal Secretary Alfred Cheruiyot who signed the contract before he was moved to the Department of Post Training and Skills Development by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July last year.

Prisons Commissioner General Isaiah Osugo told EACC he was not aware of the security contracts, some of which involved heavy artillery that is not meant for prison warders.

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More intriguing is that there was no budget for the procurement of the items with some of the firms landing the lucrative contracts having no valid pin certificates, tax certificates and forged local purchase orders.

Some of the companies awarded the multi-million contracts have no known address.

“There was no authority from either the National Security Advisory Committee or the National Security Council authorizing the procumbent of the security items,” EACC documents seen by the Star states.

In one instance, a company which indicated it could handle a business of Sh 800 Million was awarded a tender of Sh2.2 billion.

This was for the supply of bullet proof vests and plastic helmets by a firm known as Firetruss System.

Other suspicious contracts were for the supply of submachine guns amounting to Sh478.5 million that was awarded to a company known as Pakistan Ordinance.

The department also awarded a Sh342 million contract for the supply of riffles and full bore target riffles to a firm known as Mildat SP. ZO.O (LLC).

Some of these rifles are popular with the military and specialized elite police commandos.

The ministry also awarded Sh158 million tender for the supply of pistols to a firm called Sumsun Yurt Savunma San.

Most of the quotes were also grossly exaggerated, with a single G3 riffle sling going for Sh5,000 each.

The Sh200 million sling tender was awarded to Milways Enterprises associated with Jubilee's nominated Senator Millicent Omanga.

“According to the signed contracts, successful bidders were to be paid 80 per cent, i.e Sh3.6 billion, before delivery of security items yet there was no tender performance security or bank guarantee exposing the government to high risk of loss,” EACC Deputy CEO Michael Mubea disclosed yesterday.

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Other persons of interest in the scandal are former PS Richard Ekai, veteran Provincial Administrator Claire Omollo and Head of Supply Chain Mangiti Mieri.

Ekai, who was later moved to the Ministry of Sports, has already been charged alongside his former boss Hassan Wario for the 2016 Rio scandal

Omollo served as Secretary Administration in the ministry and was part of the tender evaluation committee.

Others include, James Mwalo Kodieny, Joseph Kamau Mwangi, Rose Nekesa Muturi, Sarah Kemunto Karandi and Benjamin Njoka.

Yesterday, Mubea said they thwarted the bid to steal Sh4.8 million and the file will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji anytime.

A Sh597 million tender for the supply of standard G3-A3 was also awarded to Pakistan Ordinance while a Sh597 million for unspecified assorted security items was awarded to Delta Enterprises.

Tender for the supply of special stores amounting to Sh119 million was awarded to Wold One Agencies and another for the supply of assorted security items worth Sh98 million was given to Rappec General Supplies.

The last contract, also for the supply of assorted security items amounting to Sh44.6 million was awarded to Auto Links Systems

However, EACC documents indicate that a single teargas which was to be bought from Auto Link System was to cost Sh5,500 each.

Handcuffs were to cost Sh5,000 each while anti-riot helmets were to be supplied at a cost of Sh6,750 per unit, pepper spray at Sh5,000 each and bullet proof vests at Sh45000 for level III and Sh40,000 each for level IV helmets

Rifle cleaning oil was to be supplied by Rappec at Sh500 a litre.

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