Safaricom security deal placed on hold

Thursday June 5 2014

CAROLINE WAFULA
By CAROLINE WAFULA
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The multi-billion shilling security contract awarded to Safaricom should be put on hold, House team said Thursday.

National Assembly’s Committee on Administration and National Security ordered the suspension of the integrated security system contract until MPs approve the Sh15 billion project.

This was after the House team held a closed-door meeting with Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo and other senior officers.

The MPs quizzed them on the decision to award the sensitive project of installing national security surveillance to a private company.

After the three-hour meeting, committee chairman Asman Kamama said members were not satisfied on a number of issues.

“So far, they have tried to follow the procedure as provided for in the procurement law, but at this stage, we are still not satisfied to give the project a clean bill of health,” Mr Kamama said. “We must subject the contract to due process.”

The media was locked out of the meeting following a request by the Interior CS, who cited security concerns.

“We demanded a comprehensive brief from the CS and we were able to get security reports on the system from the officers,” Mr Kamama said while briefing journalists.

He said the committee agreed with Mr Lenku that the security issue was an urgent matter and required direct sourcing under the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.

Mr Lenku confirmed that the procurement was done under restricted tendering and had been awarded, but not signed.

However, the MPs maintained that the process of awarding such a tender must be above board and cleared by Parliament.

The committee will summon several other interested parties for questioning before it tables a report in the House.