Balala answers EACC over Sh100m contract

Thursday February 21 2019

Tourism

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala responds to questions about the tourism fund at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort in Mombasa on February 6, 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Wednesday appeared before Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigators for questioning over the award of a Sh100 million contract by his ministry.

Mr Balala was to appear before the commission’s detectives on Monday but wrote to them requesting a postponement due to official duties.

“He rescheduled the sitting because he had several events lined up,” EACC Communications Officer Yasin Amaro told the press on Tuesday.

The EACC sources told the Nation that Mr Balala was required to give insights into the award of the tender to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).

The society was allegedly single-sourced to offer services during an ASTA Expo Conference in Nairobi in February 2017.

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In the summoning letter, Director of Investigations Abdi Mohamud said Mr Balala was also required to give insights into a Sh100 million sponsorship deal for the conference.

The letter, dated February 13, directed Mr Balala to appear before EACC detectives Francis Wafula and Kimutai Langat.

After the summons, the CS issued a series of statements on social media saying that the ministry’s partnership with ASTA had boosted tourism in the country.

“The Tourist arrivals from the USA doubled in 2018, with 225,000 visitors due to the partnership with the American Society of Travel Agents, who are the key buyers of Magical Kenya as a destination,” the CS said.

He said EACC had been conducting investigations, adding that the ministry had been collaborating with the detectives.