alexa Ex-PS backs firm in Sh50m fraud case - Daily Nation

Ex-PS backs firm in Sh50m fraud case

Monday September 30 2013

Former Water and Irrigation permanent secretary David Stower. Photo/FILE

Former Water and Irrigation permanent secretary David Stower. Photo/FILE 

THOMAS KARIUKI
By THOMAS KARIUKI
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A former permanent secretary on Monday testified in a Sh50 million fraud case facing two directors of a water company.

Mr David Stower, a one-time PS in the Water and Irrigation ministry testified that Broad Vision Utilities qualified for a tender and was awarded after a successful bid.

The firm is owned by Mr Dennis Edmond Apaa, who is Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire’s husband and Mr Billy Indeche, a son in-law of Lands Minister Charity Ngilu. Both are facing charges of embezzlement of public funds from the ministry.

Mr Stower said the process of awarding the tender was proper. “KACC was in contention regarding how the company was registered, the ministry process of scrutiny and what qualified the company to be awarded the water tender,” he said.

He went on to explain how tenders were awarded before his leaving the office in 2008: “Tenders are given to capable companies, and by capable I mean those that can access the resources required to finish a project. Broad Vision Utility was capable... and so they were awarded the contract,” he said.

“KACC was conducting investigations on whether BVU was capable of taking up big projects and whether it had the experience to execute it. The committee awarding the contracts saw BVU as proficient.”

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However, the prosecutor noted that the company was registered two months before being given the Sh50 million tender.

He asked: “What was the ministry’s vetting procedure? How can you issue a licence to a company with just two months of registration? How did you give the company a clean bill to handle such big projects?”

Water Services Trust Fund CEO Jackline Musyoki, who was then an administrator in the ministry, said that there were no written procedures in the ministry’s records on how a tender should be given.