I Was Conned Ksh180M at Deputy President's Office - Businessman Tells Court

  • A photo of Harambee House Annex in Nairobi which houses the office of the Deputy President.
    A photo of Harambee House Annex in Nairobi which houses the office of the Deputy President.
    File
  • A businessman testified in court on Thursday, January 21, revealing how people with access to the Office of the Deputy President (ODP) conned his business partner Ksh180 million in a fake laptop tender.

    Charles Musinga narrated before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku, that he and his partner Stephen Ngei had been approached by one of the suspects, Augustine Matata, who advised them to apply for a new tender to supply 2,800 laptops valued at Ksh180 million.

    Intrigued by the offer, Musinga noted their company, Makindu Motors Limited, applied for the tender.

    An empty court room.
    An empty court room.
    File

    He further told the court that his team received information that they had been shortlisted for the tender project on May 18, 2018.

    Soon after, they were contacted by Matata who arranged a meeting at Ole Sereni hotel between Musinga, Ngei and a woman identified as Ms Muhoro.

    According to the businessman, Muhoro claimed to be in charge of the procurement business at the DP's office. 

    After the introduction, she promised to arrange another meeting at the DP's office at Harambee House Annex to finalise the proceedings of the tender.

    Two weeks later, they were invited to the ODP by Muhoro where they were escorted to Third Floor, Room 3, which they accessed using the VIP lift.

    During the meeting, Musinga testified that they signed a nondisclosure agreement where Ngei agreed to finance the purported tender.

    The two businessmen soon found a supplier on June 28, 2018.

    Feeling unperturbed about the matter, they delivered the laptops to the neighboring Treasury building as per Muhoro's instructions.

    The witness told the court he felt confident about the deal and didn’t suspect any dubious dealings. He thought the laptops would be delivered to the DP's office according to the agreement.

    Matata is among the six suspects charged with three counts of fraud and malicious intent.

    A number of fraud cases involving people posing as government officials had sprung up in the recent past. 

    This comes despite President Uhuru Kenyatta affirming that all procurement tenders could only be accessed on the government portal.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta.
    File