Artisans in Limbo as Brokers Infiltrate Ksh.1.9 Billion Desk Tender

  • An image of Uhuru Kenyatta
    President Uhuru Kenyatta during his surprise visit to Dean Achesa's workshop in Umoja, Nairobi on Thursday 17 September 2020.
  • Jua kali artisans have lamented over the rising number of brokers who have infiltrated the Ksh.1.9 Billion school desks tender issued by the government.

    In September, the Ministry of Education invited interested local jua kali workshops and artisans to apply for the tender to supply school desks at the sub-county level.

    Patrick Kamoche who met President Uhuru Kenyatta after he recently toured his workshop in Mtindwa, Nairobi, claimed that most of his business comes from brokers.

    Education CS George Magoha (sitting at the centre) demonstrates social distancing to education stakeholders during a crisis meeting in Nairobi on Friday, September 11, 2020

    "Brokers are now purchasing desks from us, which earns us an extra coin but, we have not yet supplied the government with desks.

    "I was told to stop producing desks in the tenders we were awarded after the President visited my workshop. I was later called to an office where I was given a Ksh.2 Million tender," he noted.

    The government allocated Ksh1.9 Billion for the purchase of locally assembled desks to both public primary and secondary schools.

    The artisans were required to register for the tenders using prescribed forms that can be downloaded from the websites of the Ministries of Interior and Education or collect them from the offices of Deputy County Commissioners.

    Victor Mouo revealed that since the President visited the area, they had sold 3,000 desks adding that they only deal with individuals buyers.

    Wilson Ng'ang'a, one of the artisans from Mtindwa also noted that most of his current customers are brokers whom he has previously dealt with in business.

    "I deal with my loyal customers, they go look for buyers and come back for more supplies," he said.

    This comes after a section of youth in Kakamega on Thursday, October 15, declined President Uhuru Kenyatta's Ksh1.9 Billion school furniture tender.

    The youth claimed that the project was not economically viable as some of the materials required were not readily available in the county.

    Education CS George Magoha visiting a school in 2019.
    Education CS George Magoha visiting a school in 2019.
    The Standard