1. H.E The President
Republic of Kenya
Kenya Trade Network Agency (KENTRADE)
1st Floor Embankment Plaza
Dear H.E The President and Chairman,
RE: CORRUPTION INSTANCES AND ABUSES OF OFFICE – KENTRADE’S CEO (MR. AMOS WANGORA)
Above is substantiated below.
Before stating any malpractices, irregularities and fraudulent dealings by the said CEO-KENTRADE (Mr. Amos Wangora), I wish to bring historical events leading to the mess at KENTRADE.
- Single Window System (SWS) Project was blacklisted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as one of the projects which were procured through single-sourcing with the intention not to go into competitive bidding. World Bank which had initially committed funds for the Single Window System pulled out when KENTRADE insisted on single sourcing the system from a private company in Singapore called CrimsonLogic. In the whole process, Mr. Alex Kabuga, the former CEO, was forced to step aside for investigation because there was no proper justification for single-sourcing and the Government of Kenya wasn’t given room to negotiate the cost of the software. Unfortunately, Mr. Alex Kabuga passed on before this matter could be investigated. In this single-sourcing procurement process, neither Office of the Attorney General nor National Treasury was involved in the negotiation process. The cost of the project was inflated to Ksh. 1.1 Billion. Please refer to ANNEX 1 – Financial Costing for Kenya Electronic Single Window attached.
Caption: Annex 1
Mr H.E The President and Chairman, please note that despite the taxpayers spending this amount of money, the software is in 20% usage, because most components procured are duplicated with what is in use at Kenya Revenue Authority’s Customs Management system and Kenya Ports Authority system called KWATOS.
- Head of Public Service issued guidelines meant to avoid duplications, wastage and irregularities in the acquisition of systems (attached Refer ANNEX 2-1&2-HEAD PUBLIC SERVICE DIRECTIVE FOR ALL ICT PROCUREMENT -1). The directive has been ignored by Kentrade as expensive and useless systems have been acquired irregularly and through single-sourcing.
Caption: Annex 2-1 &2
- Kentrade’s own strategic plan required management to have developed capacity to build a single window system locally in order to eliminate the high cost of getting the system from Singapore. Kentrade has ignored this and chosen to continue paying CrimsonLogic over Ksh.100million every year for 7 years. We have talented Kenyan developers who can build a single window for much less than what Crimsonlogic asks for and we would also own the source code. Very good systems have been developed by Kenyans, therefore, saving GoK substantial amounts of money but Kentrade will not take this obvious route due to corruption and intent to get kick-backs.
- Procurement irregularities have been cited in several audit reports from Office of Auditor General, and the previous Board of Director never took action.
- Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) had raised red flag on the procurement of the Kenya Electronic Single Window through a memo dated 15th August 2012 and several procurement irregularities at KENTRADE and the former Board of Directors never took any action.( Refer ANNEX 3 – PPOA compliant letter attached)
Caption: Annex 3
- EACC initially declined to give clearance to Mr. Wangora for the CEOs position which was advertised in 2016 but later provided the same after intense pressure from some BOD member- Mr. Joseph Zachariah Ngugi. (who is a member of KENTRADE Board and alternate Director for Permanent Secretary – National Treasury) at the National Treasury, . EACC stated that Mr. Wangora had pending cases which waiting investigation, one of them being mismanagement of funding for Single Window Project from National Treasury and Investment Climate of Africa (ICF). For your reference, these audit reports are with Office of Auditor General.
Mr. H.E The President and Chairman, allow me to state glaring abuse of office cases ( termed as irregularities and illegal actions ) perpetrated by Mr. Amos Wangora:
- 1. Payment of Gratuity before the end of his office term.
In what appear blatant disregard to his contract letter (Refer ANNEX 4 – LETTER OF APPOINTMENT – AMOS WANGORA…….Section 14) and oath of office, Mr. Wangora in a letter dated 2nd November 2016 (see ANNEX 5 – CONVERSION OF GRATUITY TO MONTHLY PENSION CONTRIBUTION) requested the Board of Directors to pay him his gratuity despite not having completed his term in office as stipulated in his contract and contrary to Public Service Regulations. Despite this being against the contract he signed and knowing very well that this is illegal, the Board of Directors obliged. Despite all these, the Head of Human Resources (Mrs. Hellen Wasike) was instructed through an email (See ANNEX 6 – INSTRUCTIONS BY WANGORA TO HELEN WASIKE TO PAY GRATUITY TO HIM) has continued to make monthly gratuity payment to Mr. Wangora This matter, was raised by Internal Auditor and Office Audit General, as serious illegal irregularity and as being against the original contract (cited in ANNEX 4) AND fraudulent (ANNEX 7 – EXTRACT FROM AUDIT FINDINGS – OFFICE OF AUDITOR GENERAL-KENYA NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE).
Caption: Annex 4
Caption: Annex 5
Caption: Annex 7
- 2. Procurement of new Single Window System Software Enhancements through Non-Competitive Process despite there being one
KENTRADE, through a single-sourcing, is currently procuring a new Single Window System without going through a competitive bidding process as prescribed in Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015. It is known that the system he wants to acquire is new and not an upgrade as he claims. Previously, in 2012 procurement of Single window procurement was not competitive and the process was blacklisted by EACC, for lacking a proper legal backing from Attorney General’s Office for Government-to-Government procurement (Please refer to PPOA letter – ANNEX 3). The single-sourcing process which was initially used to ILLEGALLY procure Single Window System (in 2012) is being currently being repeated by Mr. Wangora to procure another Trade Facilitation System in the name of Single Window.
Mr. Chairman and H.E the President, the tax payers have lost a huge amount of money because there was no negotiation by the Government of Kenya with the vendor (CrimsonLogic). Secondly, this procurement doesn’t qualify for a Government-to-Government because CrimsonLogic is a private company in Singapore. The initial project did cost the tax payerKsh.1.2Billion compare to KSh. 300 million paid by other countries like Rwanda and Tanzania.
At the moment, Mr. Wangora has negotiated another contract with Crimsonlogic without involvement of the Board of Directors&National Treasury and through a non-competitive process against the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015 and Kentrade’s Strategic Plan which stated that local talent and capacity should be built to manage and operate the system.
In the same pursuit to subvert the competitive procurement process, Mr. Wangora approved formation of a task force through an internal memo dated 14th March 2017 (REFER TO ANNEX 9 – FORMATION OF A TASKFORCE TO PROPOSE A NEW SINGLE WINDOW SYSTEM). The Task force members, according to the memo constituted strictly staff members however, in the final report (ANNEX 11 – KENTRADE Task Force Report on Kenya Electronic Single Window System (KESWS), the vendor (Crimsonlogic) was included in the taskforce undertakings to “guide” the process of recommending a new Single Window System. This is evident in the Final Taskforce Report which was authored by the vendor members as having contributed in finding the “solution”. It is evident from the Taskforce Report (Refer to ANNEX 11 – KENTRADE TASK FORCE REPORT DRAFT V3 OCTOBER 27-2017) and subsequent contracts already signed, that the vendor proposed themselves and their solution to Kentrade.
Caption: Annex 9
Mr. Wangora, being the crafty and cunning government official, presented this report to Board of Directors, requesting them to approve it as “upgrade” of Kenya Electronic Single Window. However looking at the proposal given by Crimsonlogic dubbed Trade Facilitation Platform (Refer to ANNEX 10 – TRADE FACILITATION PLATFORM FOR KENTRADE V1) ,this is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SYSTEM/SOFTWARE from what was originally procured. Secondly, how can an upgrade cost the same price as the original software? The taxpayer is going to spend almost Ksh. 1 billion on a software which we don’t need and whose functionalities are already being done by KRA Integrated Customs Management System (ICMS) and KPA KWATOS. Do we really need this software just to duplicate functionalities already being performed by other agencies?
Caption: Annex 10
More intriguing are demands tabled by Crimsonlogic that Ksh. 200 million is paid upfront to them for the software and Ksh 100 million per year for the subsequent seven (7) years.
Mr. H.E the President and Chairman Kentrade, three things are noticeable:
- Mr. Wangora is avoiding competitive bidding, knowing very well that Crimsonlogic will not win the tender if it is an open bid as the company is known for overpricing their products and services.
It is also worth noting that The Government of Singapore, which also running a Single Window, actually awarded a similar tender for supply and maintenance of the Singapore Single Window System to Accenture because CrimsonLogic’s bid was overpriced. Why should Kentrade engage CrimsonLogic when their own Government of Singapore rejected them due to inflated costs? Why is the Government of Kenya accepting this blatant misuse of funds when in this country Kenya we have accomplished system developers?
Refer to the Link below to get more details https://www.straitstimes.com/
However, here in Kenya, a Government official (Mr. Wangora) is ready to plunder taxpayers money without any empathy and evade all legal processes in procurement of a System which the Import/Export trade environment does not need because there are already existing solutions.
Why should Kenya Government buy a software for Ksh. 1 billion knowing very well there is no added value or it won’t be used? (Currently Single Window System is in 20% usage despite spending Ksh. 2 billion). What a waste of public resources!!
- The tax payer is being forced to pay for a solution we don’t need and the Kentrade is paying almost four (4) times what the competitive market offers. Rwanda spent only Ksh. 300 million to procure Single Window System. How the big difference? Why would Kenya spend in total Ksh. 2 Billion while Rwanda spends Ksh.300 million? The answer is simple, Government of Kenya, through Kentrade bought components it never needed (e.g. Declaration Module, Cargo Release Module, Manifest Module etc because all these functionalities are being handled by Kenya Revenue Authority and other Agencies). Why procure a new system when the previous one is in 25% usage? Well, again we are on the verge of spending another Ksh. 1 billion on what will never be used. So what is the intention of Mr. Wangora? The intention here is to get kickbacks fromCrimsonLogic (inflated pricing costing) as it had happened previously during the initial procurement (as done by the former CEO Mr. Alex Kabuga).
- Currently, National Treasury despite allocating seed money amounting to Ksh. 300 million is not involved in the procurement process of a new Single Window System which the Kenya trade environment does not need. Whereas this leads to poor oversight on part of National Treasury considering the amounts involved, the whole stage-managed process looks intentional considering that Mr. Joseph Zachariah Ngugi from National Treasury, is a member of Kentrade Board of Director, and also being the one who recommend this option (pointing to another instance of abuse of office by an official from National Treasury).
This is a summary of what is existing in Kenya Electronic Single and what Wangora wants to procure (Refer to ANNEX 10):
What is in partial use at Kentrade:
Procurement and Implementation Cost of Single Window System ((dubbed TradeNet at Kentrade): Ksh. 1 billion (in addition to unnecessary enhancements this cost escalated to Ksh. 2 billion)
What Kentrade wants to procure at a cost ofKsh. 1 billion
Kenya Electronic Single Window
Components procured previously:
For more information on the extent of duplication and justification why this procurement is not worth the value refer to what Kentrade is single-sourcing/procuring from Crimsonlogicrefer to ANNEX 10 – Trade Facilitation Platform For KENTRADE v1.
- 3. Procurement of the Payment Gateway through a non-competitive process.
On May 18th, 2018, Mr. Wangora initiated procurement of payment gateway services a memo (Refer ANNEX 8 – FORMATION A TASKFORCE FOR PAYMENT GATEWAY THROUGH A NON-COMPETITIVE BIDDING) to selected staff members to identify and negotiate with selected Payment gateway providers. From the composition of the team, two things are evident. One the process will not lead to competitive bidding (open tender), as insinuated in the letter, the procurement department is not involved. Two, there is a likelihood that there is already preferred payment gateway vendor, because the time allocated, this exercise didn’t follow PPOA regulations and timelines in public procurement considering the instruction in the letter allowing the staff to identify and negotiate with service provider – a move which will not allow competitive bidding process as stipulated in Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015.
Caption: Annex 8
Government Digital Payment (eCitizen) under National Treasury , has a very has a very robust payment gateway that many Government agencies (e.g NTSA, Immigration, Company Registry – Sheria House, Ministry of Lands etc) and so there is no justification for a government agency to procure another payment gateway. The worst part is that Mr. Wangora wants to add to the cost of doing business for citizens by adding a charge for payments made through that gateway in a revenue sharing arrangement with a service provider gotten illegally. It doesn’t make sense for Kentrade to procure a gateway considering there several existing gateways ( e.g Pesalink, iTax , ECitizen etc) which can be used for this purpose, without incurring any costs.
- 4. Abuse of Kentrade Mortgage Facilities
In the financial year 2016-207, Kentrade allocated Ksh. 50million for staff car and mortgage. The allocation was Ksh.30 million for mortgage and 20 million for car loan facility to be shared among 70 staff members. However, two events took place. Mr. Wangora amended the Kentrade Staff Mortgage Policy so that he could be accommodated into the same to cater for his interest considering that he was on 3-year contract, and would not qualify for the same, since the Salary and Remuneration Circular dated 17th December 2014 is very clear on this (Refer to ANNEX 14 – CAR LOAN AND MORTGAGE SCHEMES FOR STATE OFFICERS AND OTHER PUBLIC OFFICERS FOR GOVERNMENT OF KENYA). Secondly, out of the Ksh. 30 million allocated for mortgage, using Ms. Hellen Wasike (Head of Human Resources) and Crispin Mbogo (Head of Finance) to manipulate the award process, Mr. Wangora , being inconsiderate of the rest of the staff members, awarded himself a whooping Ksh. 20 million mortgage facility, leaving the rest of staff ( 69 people) to share the remaining Ksh. 10 million. This is total abuse of privileges and his position geared to benefiting himself alone. A very selfish move/act of a public servant entrusted with public resources to share equitable. A big shame to Kentrade management which was coerced to approved this facility
- 5. Questionable Wealth and Asset Base
Mr. Wangora is a wealthy man from dubious dealings. The puzzling fact is how he acquired this wealth is not traceable. A beach plot worth Ksh.50Million in Nyali –Mombasa, Shopping Complex in Rongai opposite Tuskies Chap Chap ( worth 30 million), a 3-star hotel in Namanga (worth 70 million) , an expensive mansion in Ngong ( worth 40 million). He did acquire all these wealth within 5 years. Looking at the Projects he has handled and how the projects are tarnished with corruption allegations as they appear in Office of Auditors General’s audit reports: 1) KWATOS Project – Kenya Ports Authority 2) ICF Funding in Kentrade, single-sourcing deals with CrimsonLogic – Singapore, Installation Disaster Recover Site for Kentrade Single Window. Looking at what Mr. Wangora earns and what he has acquired are two worlds apart, yet he is purely a public servant with no business ventures:
- 1. Beach plot in Nyali (illegal proceeds from KWATOS tender in KPA where he was a project Manager)
- 2. HOTEL IN NAMANGA AND SHOPPING COMPLEX (Proceeds from ICF Fund granted to Kentrade through National Treasury. He was the project Manager from 2012-2015 at Kentrade. Mismanagement of this project was evident in the Audit Findings Report from Office of Auditor General (Refer to ANNEX 12 – AUDIT IRREGULARITIES RAISED ON SINGLE WINDOW PROJECT BY OFFICE OF AUDITOR GENERAL)
Caption: Annex 12
- 6. Disposal of Government Vehicle (Valued by AA Kenya at Ksh. 3,6 million) for a Dismal Sum of Ksh. 700,000
In total disregard to Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015, Mr.Wangora sold a Government Vehicle whose registration was initially registered as GKA 725U (later re-registered as KBZ 010D by Mr.Wangora) at a token amount of Ksh. 700,000 to his friend a Mr. Richard Njoroge. During the sale which was done through auction by Leaky Auctioneers, Mr.Wangora never gave a reserve price for the vehicle despite being requested severally by Leaky Auctioneers (Refer to ANNEX 7 – EXTRACT FROM AUDIT FINDINGS – OFFICE OF AUDITOR GENERAL-KENYA NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE).
Caption: Annex 7
It should be noted that this was a project vehicle donated by WorldBank as part of technical assistance towards projects under Ministry of Transport and there was no clear reason why the vehicle had to be sold despite being in good condition.
Procedurally, after the sale of this vehicle, it was meant to have been transferred to Mr. Richard Njoroge. However, records from National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicate that this has not been done (Refer to ANNEX 13- NTSA Records for KBZ010D – previously registered as GKA 725U).
Mr. Chairman and H.E President, we are at the moment fighting corruption which is killing our economy, I request you to focus your attention on KENTRADE and unearth massive corrupt practices and irregularities from Abuse of Office byMr. Wangora, whose roadmap to Wealth and Economic Status can neither be transparently traced nor properly accounted for.
We expect action with Kenya’s future in mind. As a way forward Mr. Wangora needs to step aside, investigations need to be carried out on him and lifestyle audit performed. No act of corruption or abuse of office is small enough to be ignored or not prosecuted.
Dear H. E. Mr . President as you intensify the fight against corruption we urge you:
- To address these gross violations and misuse of public funds taking place in this organization (KENTRADE). This organization has been plundered and the impact of the resources being pumped into it by the National Treasury are going into pockets of the CEO and his close associates, with little impact on international trade.
- To carry out ROI (return on Investment) on the Single Window System since its implementation, to establish its usefulness given that most of the functionalities are duplications of the KRA Customs (ICMS) System and KPA KWATOS system.
We remain dedicated to fighting corruption.
P.O. Box 30701-00100.
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