AUDIT QUERY

Kituyi cleared in Sh285 million irregular tender

Letter from Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai says former minister not adversely mentioned

In Summary
  • Documents showed Tele-News Africa and Atlantic Region was contracted for Sh12 million but amount rose to Sh285 million.
  • Kituyi shared a letter with the Star showing the National Assembly had no plans to summon him.
UNCTAD secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi during a press briefing in Nairobi on July 16. Photo/ENOS TECHE.
UNCTAD secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi during a press briefing in Nairobi on July 16. Photo/ENOS TECHE.

Former Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi has refuted reports that a parliamentary committee is considering to summon him for allegedly approving an irregular tender in 2004.

Kituyi who is the secretary general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), shared a letter with the Star showing the National Assembly has no such plans.

The letter from Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai dated July 2, 2018, said Kituyi was not adversely mentioned in the deal.

“I wish to state that from the records held by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Assembly to date, there is no submission by any officer from any state department in which you have been adversely mentioned,” Sialai said.

The letter is copied to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

Media reports in March indicated that the PAC was set to summon Kituyi over the deal in which the government paid Sh285 million for a contract that was to cost only Sh12 million.

Documents showed Tele-News Africa and Atlantic Region was contracted for Sh12 million by the Ministry of Trade to undertake consultancy services in advertising and promotion of business opportunities in Kenya on behalf of the government.

Media reports said PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi had indicated that his committee was to summon Kituyi to shed light over the role he played in the deal.

The contract ended on June 9, 2004 and the firm was paid for the two phases it was contracted for. Tele-News, however, continued advertising and insists it deserves to be paid Sh352.7 million.

The State Department of Trade was later transferred to the Ministry of Tourism, which has been paying the claims.

Tourism Principal Secretary Safina Tsungu told PAC that the Ministry of Trade allowed the company to participate in the third phase of the programme without a valid contract and a budget.

In August 2011, the Attorney-General advised the Ministry of Trade to pay the contractual amount but negotiate the interest payable even though there was no formal contract for phase three.

The ministry failed to heed the advice, prompting the company to seek court redress for the non-payment.

On July 24, 2012, the court ruled in the firm’s favour as the firm was awarded Sh110.06 million, comprising the initial Sh12 million plus 26 per cent interest backdated to April 2004.

The Office of the Auditor General in its 2017-18 financial year report on the accounts of the Ministry of Trade notes that had the Attorney General’s advice been followed, it could have saved the government at least Sh198 million in accumulated interest.

 

Edited by Henry Makori