KEBS MD Arrested in Graft Probe

  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) MD Bernard Njiraini at a past event
    Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) MD Bernard Njiraini at a past event
    Daily Nation
  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director Bernard Njiraini was on Thursday, July 2 arrested in Nairobi as part of ongoing investigations into graft at the state agency.

    Njiraini was arrested in the morning by officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and taken to Integrity Centre for processing and to record a statement.

    He is accused of frustrating the work of investigative agencies looking into payment of bribes for pre-export conformity for goods including mobile devices, as well as involvement in suspicious procurement deals.

    He allegedly failed to provide 15 sets of crucial documents to aid investigations into the procurement irregularities despite being asked to do so on June 18.

    File image of KEBS MD Bernard Njiraini
    File image of KEBS MD Bernard Njiraini
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    "Today, EACC arrested Mr. Benard Njiraini as a penal consequence of failing to comply with a Notice issued to him pursuant to Section 27 and Section 66 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act No. 3 of 2003.

    "This is with a view of obtaining the said documents and preferring charges against him for his contravention,” a statement issued by EACC read in part.

    Among the documents EACC wanted are tender advertising notices, bank tender documents, all bids submitted by the bidders, tender opening minutes, list of bidders and individual tender evaluation score sheets.

    Njiraini was only appointed as KEBS boss in August 2019, and vowed to clean up the state corporation rocked by corruption scandals in the past.

    "From my short stint in that office, I have observed that it requires a very strong personality and leadership deeply rooted in ethical corporate governance guided by high moral values and integrity.

    "In order to succeed as MD, you must resist all forms of manipulation and be guided by national interest and nothing else. I will hold the independence of actions guided by objectivity and in line with the Kebs mandate," he stated at the time.

    His predecessor Charles Ongwae was in January 2019 charged with abuse of office and conspiracy to deny the government tax revenue.

    Ongwae was charged alongside 14 others, with 31 counts over an alleged tax evasion scheme that led to the loss of Ksh64 million in government revenue.

    EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak after presenting a cheque to the Kenya Covid-19 Fund on April 28, 2020.
    EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak after presenting a cheque to the Kenya Covid-19 Fund on April 28, 2020.
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