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EACC summons Rea board members in anti-corruption fight

Monday September 24 2018

Rural Electrification Authority

Former Rural Electrification Authority CEO Ng’ang’a Munyu who is among those summoned by EACC to shed light on a report they submitted to Energy CS Charles Keter implicating some senior managers in corruption. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has summoned the Rural Electrification Authority (Rea) board to shed light on a report they submitted to Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter implicating some senior managers in corruption.

The board had written to EACC on August 10 concerning the performance of the management in delivering key government flagship projects costing billions of shillings, after the conclusion of an audit that Mr Keter had commissioned.

Mr Keter wanted a scrutiny of the electrification programme of public primary schools and human resource capacity at the authority.

The audit sought to find out the status of the school electrification programme and why the management had been issuing inconsistent reports on school electrification, why Rea-installed transformers have been failing and the quality management standards of Rea relating to procurement of materials.

The audit found some staff culpable of procurement of faulty transformers, which failed at a rate of five percent.

AUDIT

The board, in the letter accompanying the audit report, indicated that the Rea management did not have an exhaustive list of public primary schools in Kenya.

“Management was therefore working with a moving list where schools were added regularly, yet the board was never informed of any major assistance required to acquire an authentic list of schools,” the report said.

In one of the cases, the list from Internal Audit contained 5,765 schools which were not in the report held by Rea management and submitted to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum on December 19, 2016, while the list from the Ministry of Education contained 6,515 schools which were missing from the combined report held by Rea management and Internal Audit.

IRREGULAR DATA

On solar projects, the audit report showed that before electrification, public primary schools from the same area were combined into one batch to reduce labour and transport costs, thereby being awarded to a single contractor and executed as one project.

“There were 316 lots in total. However, existing data could not allow automatic segregation of individual schools within each project,” the study showed.

The board also questioned the costing of the projects.

In addition, a review of the solar projects revealed 33 instances in which schools were repeated in more than one lot.

“Due to the unstructured manner in which the data was stored, it was difficult to ascertain whether these schools were actual repetitions or were indeed distinct schools, and if they were repetitions, to ascertain whether they were deliberately repeated,” the report indicated.

ARBITRATION

The board was also angered by the fact that it was not apprised about the seven projects where the contractor of off-grid projects instituted arbitration procedures against Rea for recovery of Sh1.2 billion, plus interest thereon at the rate of 22 percent in receivables, special damages, and damages on account of injury for breaches of contract.

The arbitration case was judged and an award of Sh139.8 million was given on May 16, 2017 in favour of three affected contractors, suspected to belong to the same individual.

The interrogations will be held on different schedules between today and September 27.

Those summoned are Dr Simon Gicharu, Mr Mutuma Nkanata, Mr Elisha Akesh, Mr Jonas Misto, Ms Josephine Muritu, Eng Justus Aufrudus and Prof Robert Gateru.

Others are Ms Florence Sergon, Mr Bernard Rop, Mr David Oleshege, Ms Jane Wambugu and Mr Ng’ang’a Munyu.