United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi has been summoned to appear before Parliament over an irregular tender he sanctioned in which the government lost Ksh340 million.
People Daily on Wednesday, March 11 reported that the then Minister for Trade and Industry sanctioned a contract that was to initially cost the government Ksh12 million but owing to irregularities, the deal has ended up costing the government Ksh352.7 million.
Tourism PS Safina Kwekwe who appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday, March 10 informed that firms Tele-News Africa and Atlantic Region were hired in 2004 by the Ministry of Trade to offer consultancy services in advertisements and promotion of business opportunities in Kenya on behalf of the government.United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi addresses a conference on November 25, 2017.
Kwekwe informed the committee chaired by Ugunja Member of Parliament Opiyo Wandayi, that the contract was intended to run out on June 9, 2004, but was never cancelled, and the government has since continued to make irregular payments.
The firm has advertised on behalf of the state for the last 15 years with Ksh285 million already being paid. As of now, the government owes Ksh67.7 million in pending debt.
The repayment of the debt was later taken up by the Ministry of Tourism.
"The Ministry of Tourism has since taken over the baggage and has been paying the debts owed to the consulting firm," Kwekwe stated.
The Tourism PS told the PAC committee that Kituyi had written a letter allowing the company to participate in the disputed third phase of the advertisement programme.
She informed that, in response, the ministry wrote to the attorney general, making him aware of the irregularity, but was instructed to continue with the payments.
According to Kwekwe, the AG had in 2011 directed that the Ministry of Trade and Industry pay the contractual amount in negotiated payable interest rates. The AG, however, kept off the second phase of the contract.
The firm moved to court asking that the government honours the contract.
On July 24, 2012, the government was ordered by the court to pay a sum of Ksh 110,061,691 which was inclusive of a 26 per cent interest from April 2004.
Another payment of Ksh65 million was made to the firm in July 2013, all-inclusive of the accumulative interest rates. The bill has since accumulated to Ksh245 million.
"The ministry needs to enlighten us on the whole deal which seems to have been shrouded by irregularities," Molo MP Kimani Kuria, a member of the PAC committee stated.
Mavoko MP Patrick Makau compared the deal to an Anglo Leasing-like scam.
"This is a very serious matter. It is strange that a bill was to cost the government Ksh12 million has gone up to Ksh300 million. This is simply fraud," Wandayi pronounced.
Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo stated that it was shocking of the government to continue making payments of a non-existent contract.
"It is an act of impropriety because you are paying for a contract that was not properly entered into," Amollo stated.Undated photo of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Opiyo Wandayi during a past press briefing.The Standardscam
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