Witness clears DCI in Kenya Power graft case - Daily Nation

DCI did not interfere with Kenya Power graft report, official says

Thursday December 20 2018

Linus Murithi, a senior government procurement officer, testifies at the Milimani Law Courts

Linus Murithi, a senior government procurement officer, testifies at the Milimani Law Courts in Kenya Power's faulty transformers case, December 20, 2018. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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A senior government procurement officer on Thursday told a court that he independently decided to remove the name of Energy PS Joseph Njoroge from a report on the acquisition of faulty transformers.

Mr Linus Murithi, during re-examination by State prosecutor Alexander Muteti, said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) did not issue any such instructions and that he and a colleague, Mr Jameson Manyura, worked without this kind of interference.

LAWS FLOUTED

The two colleagues testified in the case against 14 people, including Kenya Power's former Managing Directors Dr Ben Chumo and Dr Ken Tarus as well as former Company Secretary Beatrice Meso.

The case is about the purchase of faulty transformers worth at least Sh409 million.

Mr Murithi explained that the directorate had asked Mr Moris Juma, the Director-General of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), to avail two officers to study the transformers tender procurement and make recommendations on whether procurement laws were followed.

He told Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo that he and Mr Manyura compiled the report independently after examining tender documents at the offices of the DCI.

"We were not instructed by DCI to remove the name of Mr Njoroge," he said, adding they worked within their scopes.

The two, who both testified before Mr Kombo, also said that regulations were not followed to the letter.

Mr Muteti asked Mr Murithi, “Did you find some anomalies in the tender documents?""

He answered in the affirmative, adding that a Ms Imelda Bore, who was appointed as a member of the tender committee, did not participate in its opening, while a Mr Joseph Atwoli participated despite lacking an appointment letter.

DOCUMENTS LACKING

Mr Manyura told the magistrate that he joined Mr Murithi on July 18, 2011 at the DCI's office and that they lacked many documents.

Cross-examined by defence lawyers Migos Ogambo and Moses Kurgat, he said they worked for almost a month without being supplied with tender documents which were used by the procuring entity.

He said they were given just two of the 17 documents they requested from the DCI

“You worked for almost a month without all the documents which you needed to make a fair report,” Mr Ogamba said.

Mr Manyura told him, "Yes, but we began by studying blank tender documents to acquaint ourselves with the law, procedures and requirements."

Mr Ogamba then said, "You only received two documents, which is equivalent to two per cent of the 17 documents you sought."

The witness agreed, saying, "Yes, we were only supplied with two documents."

The other defence lawyers in the case are Andrew Makundi, Assa Nyakundi and Karathe Wandugi.

REPORT'S STATE

Mr Manyura denied a suggestion that the report they came up with was assumptive as it was not pegged on any documentary evidence.

The witness also said Kenya Power extended the deadline by one month, from December 31, 2011 to January 31, 2012, through an advertisement in the Daily Nation, which he said did not reach members of the public in good time.

The other accused persons in the case include Mr Peter Mungai, Mr Joshua Mutua, Mr Abubakar Swaleh, Mr Samuel Ndirangu, Mr Stanley Mutwiri, Mr Benson Muriithi, Mr Peter Mwicigi and Mr John Ombui, the head of supply chain.

They are charged with conspiring to commit an economic crime between August 3, 2013 and June 12, 2018, when they procured transformers worth Sh408,533,221 from Muwa Trading Company.

According to the prosecution, Muwa Trading supplied 708 transformers at that cost but 327 of them turned out to be faulty and had to be repaired.

The accused have denied this charge and those of abuse of office and failure to comply with procurement laws.