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December 12, 2019 - 11:55
Cyprian Is Nyakundi
Civil Service Fraud

Embattled KPA Boss Dan Manduku Attempts To See Uhuru Flops

‘When a man is drowning, he will even clutch on a straw’

Our sources say that embattled Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) boss Daniel Manduku attempts to meet president Uhuru Kenyatta to save him from the Ksh2.7 billion scandal has failed.

Manduku forgot that Uhuru doesn’t pick calls from people who are being hunted by the DCI or ODPP these days.

In late August, President Uhuru warned senior government officials and businessmen implicated in corruption not to expect help or intervention from him.

The President said people arrested over corruption should not bother calling him when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and his Directorate of Criminal Investigations counterpart George Kinoti strike.

“You will just read in the newspapers that someone has been picked up by detectives. It is upon everyone to think over their actions. The culture of calling for help is no more, it will be upon you to defend yourself,” the President said.

 “Ni noma, hizo simu zilizimwa zamani” (Things are thick. My phones were switched off a long time ago) – President Uhuru Kenyatta Said

The Ksh2.7 Billion Heist

Dr. Manduku ran the government entity like a kitchen, dishing out tenders to friends, circumventing procurement laws to bypass rules, and most notably issuing official directions through ‘sticky notes’. A very unofficial way of doing business.

The DCI probe which began in August 2017 unearthed that Dr, Manduku authorized irregular expenditures totalling to Ksh.2.73 billion.

When the news broke, Manduku dismissed the allegations and promised a local media house that he will share documents to absolve himself but at the time of going to press he had done no such thing.

In three projects including Makongeni Goodshed Yard, Manufacture of Concrete Barriers and Kisumu Port Revitalization, Mr Manduku and others are said to have breached procurement procedure.

The investigation report by the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit of the DCI suggests that Manduku oversaw the preparation of bills of quantity (BoQs) for eight firms without requisition forms from the user — the inland container depot in Nairobi for the Makongeni Goodshed Yard project.

Manduku, KPA General Manager in charge of Operations William Rutto, Senior Works Officer Anthony Muhanji, Works Officer Juma Chigulu and Principal Works Officer Bernard Nyobange are said to have colluded to divide the 2360 square meters yard belonging to Kenya Railways into 9 zones and awarded 9 contractors the concrete works.

“The splitting is a clear conspiracy to avoid tender procedures to wit section 91 of the public procurement and asset disposal act” says the final investigation report.

Mr. Manduku was avoiding open and competitive tendering process and this cost the KPA over 500 million shillings most of which went to kickbacks.

The land which the structures were built belonged to Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and it claimed its land back. KRC had accused KPA of grabbing its land to build the overpriced structures.

To make matters worse, investigations reveal that the companies were paid in full despite not completing the job, as Kenya Railways reclaimed its land and demolished the concrete.

Four of the nine companies that were contracted never went to the site, but instead subcontracted one of the contractors to carry out the works.

“This clearly indicates that the works could have been awarded to one contractor and done perfectly and therefore the splitting was unprocedural, to avoid open and competitive tendering process”, said the report in part.

The KPA history of buying concrete barriers shows that in the latest scandal, barriers which are supposed to cost Ksh10,281 per piece were priced at Ksh79,193 per piece. Ksh1.4 billion was lost in this concrete barrier scam.

Looting After Looting

In the Kisumu Port Revitalization project, Ksh.800 million was shared by seven companies despite the works having been projected to cost Ksh.100 million.

Detectives Dr Manduku assumed the duties of a procurement officer pushed for the seven companies to be awarded the tenders. He told investigators that he had received a presidential directive to fast-track the Kisumu works.

Nevertheless, procurement regulations were breached to award the seven companies the tenders with detectives reveal that documents were forged to sanitise the process. Records recovered from the KPA finance department shows how the loot was shared.

Ponoma Constructions pocketed Ksh.205 million, Ricco Contractors bugged Ksh.108 million, while Ksh.129 million went to associated electricals, Yuaf Agencies took home Ksh.163 million while Stone Contractors pocketed Ksh.128 million tudor. Engineering Limited was paid Ksh.35 million and Kites Technicals Ltd is said to have taken home Ksh.33 million, according to the investigation’s report.

Suspects here include KPA boss Manduku, Mathews Amutu, who heads the port electrical works, Project Manager William Tenay, Head of Procurement Aza Dzengo, Principal Procurement Officer Ali Mwinjaka, Civil Technician Tom Okeyo and Directors of Stone Contractors.

In the end, the taxpayers lost over Ksh2.7 billion in overpriced concrete barriers. The buck stops with Manduku who the report fingers in many occasions to have happily flouted tendering procedures and forged papers.

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