- The matter is made more complex because KRC is now demanding KPA vacate its plot and restore the uprooted railway line.
- KPA has for years been a citadel of cartels and, with the billions of shillings left at its disposal, it has been a playground for politicos and rent-seekers.
The National Treasury has disowned the Kenya Ports Authority management over controversial tenders worth Sh2.7 billion, saying the expenditure was made without its authorisation.
In a letter dated November 22, 2019, the Treasury says the money was spent before approval of the supplementary budget.
“The Cabinet secretary Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure was to grant approval for the request and subsequently seek the concurrence of the National Treasury … there was no prior approval for Kenya Ports Authority management to procure … before approval of supplementary budget 2018/19 FY,” Principal Secretary Julius Muia says in the letter.
The tenders are under investigation by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.
KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku has moved to the High Court seeking “anticipatory bail” — and seeking to have the investigations by the DCI dismissed as “unlawful and illegal”.
Judge Erick Ogola of the High Court in Mombasa will rule on the matter today.
Dr Manduku has told the High Court that the DCI has overstepped its mandate by investigating matters that should be investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and wants the court to stop the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from bringing charges against him based on an investigative report and recommendations by the DCI.
“The DCI investigations against the petitioner are illegal and the subsequent recommendation to the DPP to charge him with many offences is in contravention of Section 35 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act,” Dr Manduku’s lawyers argue.
Dr Muia is reported to have told investigators that he had not approved the controversial Makongeni concrete works and that the procurement should not have been done before the approval of the supplementary budget.
The KPA officials had in a letter dated January 30, 2019 sought the approval of Treasury to shift Sh2.5 billion of the Sh3 billion previously set aside for buying a piece of land at the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi and use Sh500 million to concrete the Makongeni yard and Sh2 billion for dredging the port.
While Treasury had received the proposed budget, Dr Muia says, this was subjected to “rationalisation” and a recommendation for approval was only given on September 24, 2019.
By this time, Dr Manduku had already awarded the tenders and paid for the Makongeni works without knowledge of the Treasury.
WASTAGE OF RESOURCES
Records indicate that nine contractors were given the tender, which was split in smaller portions to skirt legal requirements for tendering for capital projects and to disguise it as repair works.
The nine bills of quantities were prepared by a senior works officer, Anthony Muhanji, and the total contract sum was Sh506 million.