Senior Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) officials are likely to be arrested over the Sh40 billion Kipevu Oil Terminal scandal being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Nation has learnt.
The EACC has assembled at least 30 files to make its case in the matter, which it has been investigating since January.
The files have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Noordin Haji, for perusal. But a highly placed source revealed that they were sent back to Mombasa for some gaps to be filled by the EACC detectives working on the matter.
“A concrete case has been made on this matter. We are waiting for further directions from the DPP,” said the source.
Among the officials implicated in the scandal are Managing Director Daniel Manduku, and former MD Catherine Mturi-Wairi.
Others are members of the tendering and evaluation committee, chaired by Mr Rashid Salim, who all recorded statements. Among those allegedly involved in the case were some of the 16 senior officials removed from the Mombasa port in May.
Among them are Head of Procurement and Supplies Anthony Nyamancha, tender opening/evaluation committee secretary Aza Dzengo, and due diligence team member William Tenay.
Mr Nyamancha was moved to Kampala, Uganda, as head of liaison markets and his position taken by Mr Dzengo in an acting capacity while Mr Tenay was named the head of project development.
The other officials who were operating at the port of Mombasa have been transferred to Kisumu and Lamu ports and a few deployed to the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi.
In its case, the EACC is inquiring into allegations that tender No. KPA/077/2017-18/PDM- Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of New Kipevu Oil Terminal was inflated from the budgeted Sh12 billion to Sh39 billion.
“The tender was irregularly awarded by KPA to China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) despite the company not fulfilling the conditions set in the bid document,” reads a document of the case seen by the Nation.
KPA floated the tender on March 23, 2016, and 31 bidders from at least 15 countries expressed interest.
A press release by KPA during the prequalification stage, which was done in May 2016, indicated that tenders for the construction were to be issued in July, 2016, with construction to start at the beginning of 2017.
But it wasn’t until June 30 last year that CCCC was awarded the lucrative tender, after close to two years of waiting. KPA delayed making the announcement until September for unknown reasons.
Interestingly, CCCC’s parent company, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), had been blacklisted by the World Bank in 2009 for eight years period until January 12, 2017, after an investigation discovered that it had “engaged in collusive practices in World Bank-funded projects in the Philippines”.
This means that the firm’s debarment was still in effect at the time it shortlisted in August 2016.
This comes as the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Mr George Kinoti, has turned his focus to the Coast following the recent developments at the port and the resurgence of criminal gangs.
Mr. Kinoti Tuesday concluded his two-day, low-key visit of the region where he was following, among other issues, the recent theft of 5,000 bags of sugar suspected to have mercury from Changamwe, the release of Sh10 billion edible cooking oil, and the ongoing war on drugs.
Mr Kinoti also met Chief Justice David Maraga on Monday and discussed ways of speeding up corruption cases, according to a reliable source privy to the meeting. Mr. Maraga was in Mombasa for the annual judges’ colloquium.
According to the source, Mr. Kinoti asked the CJ to put more pressure on the courts to deal with the corruption cases.
Mr Kinoti also met with Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, who has been at the Coast to follow up on the intensified war on drugs, which has seen him reshuffle senior police officers in the region.
“The director arrived on Sunday. He met with the CJ on Monday before proceeding to the port, where he also held meetings with top officials in regards to the cooking oil matter,” said a senior officer privy to Mr Kinoti’s visit.