FACING COURTS

Inside new and stalled graft cases at EACC

In Summary

• Whereas some cases are due for prosecution, the DPP has ordered that others be tightened up.

• High-profile arrests could be in the offing.

EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak, DPP Noordin Haji and EACC chairperson Bishop Eliud Wabukala during the official handover of an illegally acquired land belonging to the University of Nairobi in January 29, 2019.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak, DPP Noordin Haji and EACC chairperson Bishop Eliud Wabukala during the official handover of an illegally acquired land belonging to the University of Nairobi in January 29, 2019.
Image: FAITH MUTEGI

Fresh details of graft scandals under probe by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission have been exposed and indications are that high-profile arrests could be in the offing.

It has emerged that the EACC is seeking the prosecution of a director of Esaki Ltd — a family firm of its ex-chairman Philip Kinisu.

The anti-graft agency is also tightening a case against former National Police Service Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi.

 

Kinisu’s firm Esaki is accused of supplying vector control chemicals to the Ministry of Health without a contract as required by the law.

The EACC says its investigations established that in the quest to sanitise the flawed procurement process, a contract purporting to bind the ministry and supplier was forged.

“The forgery of the contract was committed by the Supply Chain Management officer and the director of Esaki Ltd,” the EACC quarterly report to Parliament reads.

The file has been sent to Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and is awaiting his decision.

Kinisu was forced from the helm of the EACC after it emerged that Esaki pocketed millions in contracts from the scandal-ridden NYS that the Commission was investigating at the time.

Whereas some cases are due for prosecution, DPP Noordin Haji has ordered that others be tightened up. See story https://bit.ly/2ZiILMR

KINISU FIRM

Kinisu’s firm Esaki is accused of supplying vector control chemicals to the Ministry of Health without a contract as required by the law.

The EACC says its investigations established that in the quest to sanitise the flawed procurement process, a contract purporting to bind the ministry and supplier was forged.

He eventually resigned on August 31, 2016, as pressure mounted and Parliament recommended President Uhuru Kenyatta form a tribunal to investigate him over conflict of interest.

In the new report, the EACC also wants Kavuludi to be arrested and prosecuted over six bad cheques he issued amounting to Sh931,735.

 
 

The ex-police commission boss is alleged to have issued the cheques between August 2013 and February 2016.

However, the DPP has returned the file to the EACC for further investigation before prosecution commences.

The commission had recommended that the ex-NPSC boss be charged with six counts of issuing the bad cheques, contrary to the Penal Code.

It has also emerged that former Correctional Services Principal Secretary Alfred Cheruiyot and ex-head of supply chain Mangiti Mieri face prosecution over Sh4.8 billion irregular security contracts.

Cheruiyot is currently the PS, Department of Post Training and Skills Development, following a reshuffle by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July last year.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission accuses the officers of irregularly awarding 10 classified tenders to various companies for bulletproof vests and guns.

According to the EACC, top officials of the Department of Correctional Services undertook the tender without prior budget approval, against the procurement laws.

The EACC has maintained there was a breach of procurement laws as there was no budget and the items were not approved by the Cabinet.

The anti-graft agency says the Director of Public Prosecutions has returned the file for tightening up and wrapping up loose ends.

It has also emerged that the Commission wants a fresh charge of former National Youth Service officials, some of them already in court for a separate scandal.

The anti-graft body has recommended that former NYS director general Nelson Githinji and the deputy director general be charged over the loss of Sh75 million.

Githinji is among those charged in court over the Sh695 million NYS I scandal and had resigned from office on November 2015 after the DPP recommended his prosecution.

In the latest probe, the EACC has cited flaws in the tender awarded by NYS for the supply of firefighting equipment by M/S International Partnership Services East Africa.

The investigations revealed that the procurement process that led to the award of the LPO by NYS to IPSEA was irregular since it extended the available budget for 2014-2015.

The firm, the ex-NYS officials and the then members of the Inspection and Acceptance Committee could also be jointly and severally charged with conspiracy to defraud the NYS.

“The then Director-General of the NYS, as the accounting officer, approved the procurement without the involvement of the ministerial tender committee,” the EACC says in its report published in the Kenya Gazette.

On June 19, the DPP recommended a joint meeting between his office and the EACC to agree on how to handle the file.

The EACC, in a July 22 report signed by CEO Twalib Mbarak and chairman Eliud Wabukala, states that it has actively handled  107 cases between January and March this year.

Of these, 71 were recommended for prosecution — of which 39 have been accepted; 12 set for administrative action and 24 were closed for varied reasons.

Twenty-four files were returned for further investigation by the EACC before the DPP will approve prosecution.

The then Director-General of the NYS, as the accounting officer, approved the procurement without the involvement of the ministerial tender committee
EACC Report

The EACC report says that the DPP recommended further investigations into suspected misappropriation of Sh6.3 million in the purchase of laboratory consumables by the Kenya Prisons Service.

A deeper probe is underway on alleged misappropriation of Sh5.2 million at the same department for vehicle tyres, which were not delivered.

The anti-graft agency had recommended the prosecution of the Prisons Stores manager for attempted fraud, conspiracy to commit an economic crime and making a false document.

The agency says it has obtained evidence that between May 2015 and January 2016 to the effect that whereas Lolmuran Enterprises won the bid, they did not supply anything.

“The firm neither supplied 49 tyres and tubes of sizes 295/80 R22.5 for Sh3,038,000 in respect of LPO Number 224904, nor did they supply 70 tyres and tubes of sizes 900 R20 for the sum of Sh2,212,000 in respect of LPO Number 224905,” the EACC report reads.

The watchdog  had initially named firms that were awarded the lucrative contract to supply classified security items for Sh4.8 billion

The firms included Firetruss Systems, which was awarded a tender to supply bulletproof vests and helmets at Sh2.2 billion. Pakistan Ordnance was to supply G3 rifles for Sh597 million and submachine guns for Sh478.5 million.

Delta Enterprises supplied assorted security items at Sh570 million; Mildat was contracted to vend full-bore target rifles at Sh342.7 million.

The anti-graft detectives are also probing the circumstances under which Milways Entreprises was awarded a tender to supply G3 rifle slings at Sh200 million and Sumsun Yurt’spistols for Sh158 million.

World One Agencies was engaged to supply special stores at Sh119 million. Rapecc General Supplies tendered for Sh98.75 million assorted security items. Some of these amounting to Sh44.6 million went to Auto Links Systems.

The EACC also wants members of the tender committee to be charged for violating the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.