‘Before the Dust Settles’:Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri’s Scandal At Devolution Ministry
Before the issue of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru intending to sue rapper Ken Ombima aka RabbitTheKing for defamation, let’s revisit Anne Waiguru’s legacy of plunder at the Devolution Ministry.
It is a legacy that led to another little known scandal after she left the ministry.
Anne Waiguru was replaced by Mwangi Kiunjuri who had since gone on to plunder the Ministry of Agriculture, continuing the legacy of importing fake fertilizers, harmful pesticides (Bayer’s RoundUP) contaminated maize etc with the help and protection of DP Ruto.
In the period between Waiguru’s resignation seeking ‘lighter duties’ from 2015 to 2017 even beyond Kiunjuri’s tenure in 2018, there were procurement irregularities at the Ministry that I would like to revisit.
A tender number MODP/SDD/KDSP/EOI/12/2016-2017 under the World Bank-funded programme, the Kenya Devolution Support Program (KDSP) brought more bad things than good before the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA).
The bid to design and develop a Computerised Management Information System (MIS) for the KDSP in support of Counties development and plans was put on hold for more than a year due to the incessant push and pull between the bidders.
Parity Performance Limited accused the Ministry’s tender committee of bias for awarding Prestige Management Solutions Limited the tender using flawed disqualification mechanisms.
‘Parity Performance & Compliance Limited hereby request the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board to review their decision on the following grounds namely: That the procuring entity breached section 126 (3) and 176(1)(c) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 read with section 7(2)(b) of Fair Administrative Action Act, 2015 by failing to evaluate the proposal within 21 days’.
The PPOA convened a meeting on Friday 21st, July 2017 at the 10th Floor Boadroon, National Bank Building Harambee Avenue, Nairobi for the hearing.
To cut the long story short, PPOA annulled the decision of the Ministry of Devolution tender committee.
The Tender was re-advertised.
The first tender floated in December 2016 sent to 13 pre-qualified firms was only bid by 8 firms which only 3 firms, Parity Performance Ltd, Prestige Management Solutions and Exeva Consulting passing to the critical mandatory evaluation stage.
This means that the tender committee had disqualified five other pre-qualified firms on accounts that they didn’t meet the threshold and only the three were to proceed. Exeva was however dropped soon after and only Parity and Prestige move to the last Financial opening stage, where Prestige Management Solution Limited having the lowest bid of Ksh28,796,369.25 won the bid.
Parity had quoted Ksh34,730,980.
The ministry went on to award Parity the tender. Later Parity contested the award and won and the tender was re-advertised. The hearing was in July 2017.
Exeva Consulting Limited opposed the review stating that ‘no sufficient grounds have been advanced by the applicant to justify a review’.
A few months later in February 2018, the board secretary of the PPOA Mr. H.K Kirungu wrote another letter summoning the bidders to appear for a hearing. Parity Performance Limited was contesting the tender award again.
Through a sown affidavit Parity Performance Ltd CEO James Wang’ombe stated that ‘the procuring entity had unfairly disqualified the applicants’ proposal in order to award the RFP to Prestige Management Solutions Limited’.
He swore in support of the review.
Happenings at the Ministry of Devolution
Having succeeded Anne Waiguru who was by then still waiting for ‘lighter duties’ from the president, the then Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri had started ‘eating’ from the tenders at the ministry.
What is very curious about the tender is that those firms that were removed before the financial stage was reached had far more superior IT skill-set and low budget bids. To make it more curious is that some of them were International firms that already had some framework of an IT system that the KDSP and the ministry of devolution wanted already in place at some of the counties.
One international form according to the source had quoted a figure of Ksh18 million. But their bid was thrown out by the Tender Committee at the instruction from CS Kiunjuri. It seemed the tender committee had a firm in mind, Prestige Management Solutions Limited was it.
A source at the Devolution ministry confirmed that the tender was pre-arranged to favour Prestige Management Solutions Limited.
‘The CS (Kiunjuri) was to receive Ksh12 million if Prestige is awarded, and that why you saw even the PPOA stuck with them’, said the source.
The source further claimed that ksh2 million would go to oil the hands of the other junior officers.
For eight months the tender implementation was delayed.
It was a soiled fight to have Prestige retain the awarded mantle.
The manner in which the PPOA also handled the matter leaves much to be desired.
As a public entity in charge of hearing such important issues as pertains procurement; they’ve often used the easy and populist way of cancelling tenders and asking for re-advertisements.
Evidence suggests that this route has not always yielded the best and fair result as most of the firms whose win were cancelled often come back victorious
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