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Graft case reveals level of impunity at Kenya Power

Tuesday October 2 2018

Kenya Power

Former Kenya Power managing directors Ken Tarus (left) and Ben Chumo arraigned in Nairobi on abuse of office charges. The firm acquired faulty transformers. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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The trial of former Kenya Power Managing Director Ken Tarus and 18 other suspects facing corruption charges began Monday, with revelations that 39 companies pre-qualified to offer services were not registered at the Attorney General chambers.

Dr Tarus and the 18 suspects have been charged with granting tenders to unqualified companies occasioning loss of millions of shillings to the company.

Testifying against Dr Tarus and the others, Mr Charles Kipng’eno, an internal auditor, said he established that companies which were listed to offer services were not pre-qualified.

“Out of the 525 companies listed to render services to Kenya Power, which I checked at the registrar of companies, 136 were not authenticated and therefore did not meet the criteria set to offer services to the sole power distributor,” he told Anti-Graft Court Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi.

TRANSFORMERS

Mr Kipng’eno further said 262 companies pre-qualified by Kenya Power did not have the National Constructions Authority certificates mandating them to offer services.

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The auditor, who was instructed to carry out an in-depth audit on the acquisition of faulty transformers that caused the firm a huge loss, said he established that due diligence was not followed.

He said alterations on specifications were done after the opening of the tender documents.

Mr Kipng’eno established that there was conflict of interest as some of the companies listed to render services belonged to KP employees.

The auditor said he found that the valuation committee and the accounting officer did not discharge their duties.

MILLIONS LOST

He said he recommended administrative action be taken against Beatrice Meso, the company secretary, Joshua Mutua, general manager commercial services, Abubakar Swaleh, general manager human resource and administration, Samuel Ndirangu, ICT general manager, Stanley Mutwiri, general manager infrastructure development, Benson Muriithi, general manager network management, Peter Mwicigi, general manager regional co-ordination and John Ombui, the head of supply chain.

The managers have been charged with procuring substandard transformers that caused Kenya Power a Sh408 million loss.

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

Muwa’s director James Njenga was also in court. The other suspects are nine were members of the tender committee. The accused have denied the charges and are out on bond. The hearing continues.