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How Chinese Loot From Africa; A Study of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

sgr

We post this here knowing well that none of the bribed mainstream media editors can allow it to be published.

Whether you are involved in the construction of Roads, Buildings, Railways, Industrial plants, Power facilities or any other infrastructure, your projects involve the complex coordination of different contractors. Construction supervision can help guide your project to completion on time, on budget and in compliance with the relevant Quality and Safety Standards.

As much as the present Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) projects have been sanitised to be done on schedule and without any safety and quality concerns more scrutiny needs to be enhanced by the Clients by giving more authority for Construction Supervision to local Qualified Engineering Consultants who should be fully liable and answerable to the Kenyan public.

In Kenya the system is slowly catching up where Chinese funded projects give preference to Chinese Contractors who in turn award their sister companies to supervise the quality. The SGR is a case in point. However, the Kenyan partners have stepped in and have helped massively in control of quality. Although the matter is slowly getting out of hand.

In most cases the Kenyan Inspectors and Engineers have worked longer hours and tirelessly fought efforts aimed at undermining the quality of workmanship and materials used for construction of the SGR Railway. Were it not for them the quality would have been seriously undermined in favour of a quick finish of the project under the guise of the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s desperate bid to show Kenyans his flagship project and use it a campaign tool for possible re-election come 2017.

Their Chinese counterparts in Supervision are in most cases stooges for their bosses the contractors. They cannot make decisions that adversely affect their Contractor brothers. They dine and wine lavishly together in most occasions past the wee hours of the night. You wonder then how they in turn are supposed to scold them when quality and workmanship is undermined. The Contractor appears in most cases too big a dragon to slay even for the “toothless Client” (The Kenya Government). The Contractor will thus continue to grow in influence and will eventually be too wild to tame in the next phases of the various assignments.

Meanwhile the project risks being  delivered on time but with serious safety and quality concerns considering workers up to now (since November 2014) have not been paid for their overtime allowances so painfully earned. Most of the Chinese foremen moreover came to Kenya so green from college and had to be taught work by their local counterparts in construction related work, most arrive here in six months tourist visas and are sneaked back to China to renew the same.

The cycle continues year on end yet our immigration department are as usual blind to this fact, or ofcourse bribed to look the other way; forget that in every camp there are resident policemen who can check their work permits if they even exist. We have Chinese who are one and half years into the projects (Consultant Resident Engineers) and cannot speak the language of contract which is English nor do they have any construction supervision experience. Their tasks are just to watch and limit Kenyan inspectors and engineers capability to supervise by curtailing their mobility, and accommodation.

As much as Kenya is benefiting from the Chinese expertise let’s keep in mind the fact that these loans will eventually be paid by Kenyans so Kenyans should be fully involved in supervision of these expensive projects. China or Uhuru Kenyatta is not doing Kenyans a favour. That’s our tax money. These are loans that our children will pay.

Kenya is not the sole country where corruption is denting key pillars of the economy. As seen in various articles below China is not immune either.
Corruption is literally built into the foundations of modern China. The construction and infrastructure sectors are two of the most corrupt in country, putting at risk China’s vaunted development, and also potentially endangering its neighbours. All across China, everything from sidewalks to apartment buildings to megadams are compromised by corruption.

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cleo-paskal/chinese-corruption-party-_b_1460519.html)

Chinese corruption takes many forms. Pay-offs regularly turn up on contractors’ budgets as ‘public relations’ fees. Bribery is often used to bypass safety standards and illegally acquire land. Corrupt local officials ignore zoning laws and allow building in danger locations, like flood plains. Cheaper, lower standard materials are substituted for the mandated safer alternatives. Public bidding on projects is often pre determined. Inspectors are bribed.

According to Jay Hoenig, former Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and current COO, Asia-Pacific, for Hill and Associates:
In a recent survey, 84% of companies reported at least one asset-protection fraud in the past three years. In China, 96% of companies reported such fraud. Of these cases, 41% of China’s bribery cases were in construction, with 91% of companies suffering losses from corruption or fraud in the last three years. In fact, construction in China is always ranked first in size and frequency of fraud, ahead of defense, oil and gas and banking and finance.

In construction in China, 70% of projects are not completed on time, 73% are over budget and up to 20% of capital cost is wasted due to fraud, theft and negligence. One senior Chinese official even stated that 40% of China’s construction projects are “out of control” with regard to health, safety and corruption.
China knows it has a problem. In the two years ending in December 2011, a total of 15,109 Chinese officials were punished for construction-related corruption or dereliction of duty. But the corruption is so endemic, that those numbers barely scratch the surface.
Earlier also, China State Construction Corporation, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC, SH:600263) and two other Chinese construction companies have been debarred from bidding for World Bank financed projects for periods ranging from five to eight years, after a corruption investigation in the Philippines, according to a Bank press release.

The companies were among seven firms and one individual debarred for ‘engaging in collusive practices under a major Bank-financed roads project in the Philippines”, according to the World Bank press statement.The project, the Philippines National Roads Improvement and Management Program was partly financed by a US$150 million loan from the World Bank. An investigation by officials from the World Bank Integrity Vice-Presidency (INT) and external legal experts determined that the companies had colluded to enter non-competitive, artificially high bid prices, the WorldBank statement said.

CRBC is the overseas arm of state-owned giant China Communications Construction Company Ltd., which is ranked 426 in the Fortune 500. The company has undertaken more than 600 overseas projects and has branches in around 50 countries.

( http://www.china.org.cn/business/news/2009-01/15/content_17110950.htm )

Washington, July 29, 2011−The World Bank today announced the barring of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) Limited, and all its subsidiaries, for fraudulent practices under Phase 1 of the Philippines National Roads Improvement and Management Project. Under the sanction, CCCC is ineligible to engage in any road and bridge projects financed by the World Bank Group until January 12, 2017. This action is based on recent changes in the World Bank sanctions system to clarify that successor organizations – through purchase or reorganization – will be subject to the same sanctions applied to the original firm.

CCCC is the designated successor entity to China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) which, along with six other firms and one individual, was debarred by the World Bank for eight years, beginning January 12, 2009, following an investigation of the National Roads Improvement and Management Project by the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT). No World Bank funds from the NRIMP project were disbursed to any of the sanctioned firms.

(http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2011/07/29/world-bank-applies-2009-debarment-to-china-communications-construction-company-limited-for-fraud-in-philippines-roads-project )

See also
http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2015/5/6/china/listed-chinese-companies-caught-anti-corruption-drive

The writing is on the wall, no one is immune to corruption. Let us be very vigilant with resources that are loaned to us. Eventually we will repay them and a great cost. With the present arrangement overdesign is the spirit of the day. Good design takes care of both safety and cost, but where cost is overrated so that as much money can be repatriated to the mother country through maximized profits then that’s exploitation.

Let’s grow the Kenyan economy and infrastructure by involving the Kenyan professionals more than the expatriates. Let Kenyan’s benefit from Kenya’s sweat, let all this contracts be written to allow qualified Kenyans and not un qualified “experts” whose CV’s are always in foreign languages and cannot be verified and independently authenticated. In most cases even the persons who are supposed to authenticate and weed out unqualified experts are compromised or threatened by the connected forces.

The only reason that Jubilee drafted Chinese contractors is after laws were passed to curb corruption in many foreign countries, China is the only nation which turns a blind eye on kickbacks and inflated costs. It enables corruption. In the UK for instance, bribes in tenders like the Chicken scandal were detected.

Let not Jubilee frame the Standard Gauge Railway project as a favour to Kenyans. Let not Kenyans concede their right to vigilance based on propaganda and PR using false statistics and fancy photos.


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