Youth fund boss awarded Sh180m tender at public forum

Namuye, firm sealed deal without going through tendering process, MPs told

Wednesday March 9 2016

Youth Enterprise Development Fund chief executive officer Catherine Namuye. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL

Youth Enterprise Development Fund chief executive officer Catherine Namuye. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

ByJOHN NJAGI
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It has emerged that suspended Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) chief executive Catherine Namuye awarded a Sh180 million contract through personal contact and not competitive tendering as required by law.

Tuesday, Mr Mukuria Ngamau, managing director of Quarandum Ltd, the company that was given the contract to design comprehensive computer management software, told the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, he met Ms Namuye at a function where they sealed the deal.

“It was a forum where officials of the fund usually explain to the public what the fund does,” he said.

Mr Ngamau told the MPs the contract was only meant to design and not to implement the system.

This was after it emerged the company did not get a completion certificate from the fund and also no employee was trained on how to use the new system.

The MPs have been interviewing those suspected to have  played a part in what is believed to be a fraudulent transaction that led to loss of Sh180 million, with another Sh220 million still unaccounted for.

Committee chairman, Eldas MP Adan Keynan, lamented that the documents Mr Ngamau presented to the team had inconsistencies, including a mix-up of dates on invoices, and questioned their authenticity.

“Some of the invoices presented to YEDF for payment were at one-day intervals and were seven in number. This was an anomaly since only two payments, for Sh115 million and Sh65 million, were paid to Quarandum,” he noted.

Mr Keynan questioned why Mr Ngamau only dealt with the CEO in such a big government agency, while sealing a deal worth millions of shillings, and wondered why other relevant departments such as ICT and finance, were left out.

The MPs also demanded answers over claims the deal’s lead consultant, a Mr Donny Collins Reeves, who lives in the US, was paid Sh115 million, yet he never set foot in Kenya.

MET ON SKYPE

“We met, the three of us, through Skype at the CEO’s office. The contract documents were later sent to him by courier services to sign, and he sent them back,” said Mr Ngamau.

Mr Keynan shocked the team when he said information he had dug up on Google indicated that a person with names similar to those of Mr Reeves died in April last year and had a religious, not an ICT background.

Kisumu West MP Olago Alouch said the individual who reportedly had his signature on the  documents, should be called to shed light on the deal.

However, his colleagues said the transaction appeared to be a complete fraud and that detectives should be summoned to arrest the suspects.

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