Kenya Power case probe was not conclusive, witness tells court

Wednesday December 19 2018

Ben Chumo

Former Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo in court on December 18, 2018 during the hearing of an abuse of office case against him where, together with 15 others, he is accused of procuring faulty transformers. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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A witness in a fraud case involving former Kenya Power senior managers was at pains Tuesday to explain how he conducted an analysis on the tender, in which the company is said to have lost millions, without all the documents.

While being cross-examined by lawyers Migos Ogamba and Kiraithe Wandugi, Mr Linus Murithi admitted that he was not given all the documents in relation to the tender for the supply of transformers.

And with all the documents, he would have arrived at a different conclusion, he said.

ONLY A LETTER

He further admitted that he only had a letter, which had been sent to the director-general of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) asking for an analysis but which had no terms of reference.

After analysis, Mr Murithi, who is a senior capacity building officer at PPRA, said they faulted the company for failing to advertise the tender in newspapers as required.

However, Mr Ogamba produced a newspaper advert of 2011 inviting bidders.

The witness said that with his team, he asked for all crucial documents from the DCI to enable them conduct the analysis but they were not forthcoming.

“We had to rely on the documents which were supplied to us by the DCI,” he said.

MUWA TRADING

He further admitted that although there were seven companies that participated in the tender, the DCI tasked them to concentrate on Muwa Trading Company, because the DCI allegedly wanted to find out whether the tender was terminated in accordance with the law.

Fourteen people and one company have been charged with the procurement of faulty transformers, among them former senior managers Dr Ben Chumo (left) and Dr Ken Tarus. Others are 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 the supply chain.

The charges stated that they conspired to commit an economic crime between August 3, 2013 and June 12, 2018, when they procured transformers worth about Sh408.5m from Muwa. They further denied abuse of office charges and failure to comply with procurement laws.

According to the prosecution, Muwa supplied 708 transformers but 327 turned out to be faulty.