Top officials of several state corporations are being targeted for arrest and prosecution over the next few weeks as the war against corruption intensifies. Among those targeted in the impending wave of arrests are at least three vocal MPs, senior officials at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC).
While the three MPs, including two from Kiambu County and the third one from the neighbouring Murang’a County, are targeted over the alleged misuse of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) monies, the multi-agency team is investigating KRA and KPA with a view to seizing top officials allegedly aiding tax evasion and importation of contraband commodities in which the state has lost billions of shillings over the years.
Already, a gloomy atmosphere hangs over the KPC headquarters after investigators from Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), led by its boss Mr George Kinoti, last week carted away documents related to the award of multibillion shilling tenders.
A source told the Sunday Nation the raid has caused panic at the institution, raising fears of imminent arrests.
According to sources at both the DCI and KPC, Mr Kinoti and his investigators, in a convoy of three vehicles, arrived at the state corporation's headquarters, located on Nanyuki Road in Nairobi’s Industrial area, on Wednesday shortly after 2pm and went into a brief meeting with the chief executive Joe Sang.
Details of the meeting are scanty as our source was not part of it. However, after the meeting, which lasted close to 30 minutes, Mr Kinoti and his team left carrying what our sources say were “tonnes” of files related to some of the tenders the KPC has awarded in the recent past.
Among the files the team carried away are those containing details of the purchase of land next to the KPC headquarters, the KPC integrated security system, the proposed SCADA system, Kisumu oil jetty, bottom loading facility in Eldoret, the loss of line fill of Emky Ltd, valve automation, PS 14 fire hydrant system and the findings in the investigation on possible fuel theft on authorised fuel advancement to OMCs.
Other files that were carted away include Thange oil spillage clean-up, Line 6 construction tender and Kisumu improvements civil works.
According to the documents, the taxpayer may have lost up to Sh120 million for the purchase of the two acre piece of land. Original documents show the ministry of Lands valued the land at Sh253 million before the National Land Commission pushed it to Sh545 million.
In the lease agreement, the figure indicated is Sh545 million but KPC paid up to Sh670 million for the land in a deal that was executed through a broker.
The technical processing committee had recommended that the corporation pays the amount that the NLC had arrived at but KPC paid more for unjustified reasons. The DCI is also said to be interested in knowing the rationale of using brokers yet the owner was selling the property directly.
The investigators are also interested in the tender awarded for the construction of the Sh1.7 billion oil jetty in Kisumu which was meant to ensure efficiency in the delivery of petroleum products.
Last week, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had authorised the arrest and prosecution of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu over allegations of corruption, telling the media that his office will wage an aggressive effort against all forms of corruption.
“Our country is being torn apart by people who have been placed in positions of trust and who in turn abuse this trust. Those in positions of service must not only submit to the constitutional precepts of integrity, they must exercise wisdom, demonstrate good judgement and lead by the power of their example,” Mr Haji said.
The DPP said manufacturing companies must be protected from smugglers of fakes and merchants of cheap counterfeits. “All of us must pay taxes so that the government can have the revenue to provide Kenyans with services and to support devolution. Once those taxes are paid, they have to be used only for the intended purposes and not misappropriated by a few people. Taxpayers indeed the Kenyan people have a right to demand accountability.”