ACCUSED DENY WRONGDOING

CA boss defends staff over graft claims as six are released on bail

The tender committee, according to Ngene, realised that money quoted was too much and cancelled the tender

In Summary

• Six Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) staff arraigned in court and charged with failing to comply with procurement laws.

• Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti also issued orders restraining the nine accused from accessing CA offices.

Communications Authority of Kenya board chairman Ngene Gituku during the launch of the spectrum management and monitoring system in Nairobi on March 3 /FILE
Communications Authority of Kenya board chairman Ngene Gituku during the launch of the spectrum management and monitoring system in Nairobi on March 3 /FILE

The Communication Authority of Kenya on Friday defended its staff against corruption claims.

Six officers were arraigned on Friday and charged with failing to comply with procurement laws. They are among the nine accused of the offence. They denied wrongdoing and were granted Sh500,000 bail or Sh1.5 million bond.

They are Joyce Nyanamba (assistant director and head of procurement), and tender committee members Stanley Kibe, Leo Boruett, Vincent Ngundi, Jane Rotich, and Philip Kiplangat.

Nyanamba is alleged to have had an upper hand during the evaluation of the tender.

The three others are Muthusi Mutua, (former CA director), Peris Nkonge and John Omo. They were not in court as they had yet to be summoned.

In a statement, CA chairman Ngene Gituku said no money was lost and the authority instead saved millions of shillings.

He said the CA wanted to refurbish a stand at the Agricultural Show in 2014 and it got five prequalified contractors to quote. All but one quoted above Sh5 million.

The tender committee, according to Ngene, then realised that the money quoted was too much and cancelled the tender.

“The tender committee, in its deliberations, noted that the tender sum for the lowest evaluated bid of Sh4,474,000 was unreasonably high, considering that the authority had undertaken similar works in the previous year," Ngene said.

“The committee, therefore, in the interest of promoting economy and efficiency, as well as ensuring prudent and responsible use of public resources, recommended cancellation of the tender and procurement of the service from the authority’s advertising agency, which had been contracted to provide branding and other associated services during the show.” 

The advertising agency quoted a total tender sum of Sh1,927,572 for the repairs of the stand and was, therefore, awarded the tender.

“By awarding the tender to the advertising agency, the authority made a saving of Sh2,546,428 (as compared to the initial lowest evaluated bid of Shs4, 474,000). From the foregoing, it is clear that no public funds were lost. Instead, public resources were saved," Ngene added.

In his ruling, anti-corruption chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti issued orders restraining the nine accused from accessing CA offices except in the company of the investigating officer.

“The accused shall also deposit their passports with the court and in case they need to travel, they shall provide the court with a detailed itinerary and a person of contact where they are going,” he said.

According to the charge sheet, they, between September 17 and 22, 2014, within Nairobi and being employed by the CA, willfully failed to comply with the applications relating to procurement by failing to issue a notice to all the bidders as required in law.

The tender for the renovation of the Nairobi Authorities Agriculturalist  Society of Kenya show was considered terminated.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission detectives arrested the six officials on Thursday after DPP Noordin Haji approved their prosecution.

The commission compiled an investigation file for the DPP on January 16. The DPP, in his letter dated May 6, returned the file to the EACC and gave consent to arraign the suspects.

(Edited by F'Orieny)