Kenya Power GM denies role in tender fraud
A general manager at Kenya Power has denied conspiring with several other officials to defraud the company of Sh159 million.
Mr Bernard Ngugi, the head of procurement at the company, on Tuesday explained the addition of four companies which had been left out when 525 were pre-qualified for the award of a tender.
He testified against nine people including Managing Director Ken Tarus, who are charged with conspiring to commit an economic crime by failing to comply with procurement procedures and guidelines.
This led to the fraudulent payment of Sh159 million to companies unprocedurally pre-qualified to offer labour and transport services vide tender No KPI/9AA-2/58/PJT/16-17.
Mr Ngugi told Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi that he recommended that Dr Tarus include the four, but only after thorough of the evaluation committee's report, 45 days after the closure of the selection process.
He said he evaluated documents compiled by the evaluation committee made up of engineers Daniel Tare, James Mwaura Njehia and Noah Ogano Omondi, as well as James Muriuki and Bernard Githui Muturi.
The GM said that Mr Muturi, who was his deputy at the time, prepared a report which was submitted to Dr Tarus while he was on leave.
Although he denied seeing the report that Mr Muturi submitted to Dr Tarus, the manager said names of bidders had been left out and that he considered them on appeal and rejected others who did not tender.
“I gave my opinion as required under the law, then made recommendations for Dr Tarus to issue notifications to qualified bidders,” he said during cross-examination by defence lawyers Katwa Kigen, Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta
The addition of the four companies brought to 529, companies which the evaluation committee picked out of 1,354 bidders.
The procurement expert denied being among those police said colluded with Dr Tarus and others to irregularly pay that amount of money to companies irregularly pre-qualified to offer the services between April and June 12, 2017.
"I did not take part in the conspiracy to defraud Kenya Power alongside the accused persons," he said.
Regarding tender opening, Mr Ngugi said the exercise was irregularly conducted by two members among three who appointed by Dr Tarus.
“Don’t you think the over 1,000 bidders could have killed the two members of the tender committee who showed up at Kenya Power's auditorium on May 31, 2017,” Mr Omari asked the witness.
Mr Ngugi answered, "There could have been chaos had the tender opening exercise been postponed due to the absence of David Makenzie, one of members of the tender committee who skipped the exercise.”
He noted the law requires that tender opening be conducted by three members on the last day. The other members were Mr Muturi (secretary) and Ms Everlyne Pauline Amondi (an engineer).
Mr Ngugi testified against Dr Tarus, Mr Omondi, Mr Njehia, Mr Muriuki, Mr Muturi, Ms Amondi, Mr Harun Karisa, Mr Daniel Tare and Mr Daniel Ochieng Muga.