In September, 2018, an anonymous whistleblower shared how KenTrade Chief Executive Officer Amos Wangora has been looting the parastatal through tenders and illegal hiring by the parastatal.
The matter that was copied to President Kenyatta, EACC, NIS, ODPP and the chief editor of this site.
Nearly 3 years later, the Commission of Administrative Justice aka office of the Ombudsman has responded to the allegations.
In a document seen by cnyakundi.com dated February 2021, the Ombudsman orders KenTrade to furnish it with documents’
In the matter of irregular hiring of Furaha Wanjiru and Edwin Wanyama, the Commission requested for approval for the promotions, KenTrade’s HR policy and confidential files of the duo. Further, KenTrade’s directors of Corporate Services and Head of legal Services were also summoned, ‘to aid in the investigations’.
In the matter of Single Window System (SWS), the Ombudsman’s office remained mute.
Single Window System (SWS) Tender
In his exposé, the whistleblower had stated that KenTrade had single sourced the development of the IT system to a firm in Singapore at a cost of Sh100 million per year for 7 years.
These allegations forced former and late CEO Alex Kabuga to step aside. EACC blacklisted the project.
Unfortunately, Mr Kabuga died before completion of the case.
The whistleblower had argued that the system could be developed locally at cheaper rates and called on the President and the other security agencies to intervene to stop the pilferage.
“The directive by the Head of Public Service issued guidelines meant to avoid duplications, wastage and irregularities in the acquisition of systems, was ignored by Kentrade as expensive and useless systems have been acquired irregularly and through single-sourcing”, the whistleblower wrote.
“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”, the whistleblower noted.
“Procurement irregularities have been cited in several audit reports from Office of Auditor General, and the previous Board of Directors never took action”, the whistleblower narrated.
Mr Wangora’s appointment as CEO of KenTrade was also cited as irregular. That might explain the state capture of the agency.
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.
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 ignored this and chose to continue paying CrimsonLogic over Ksh100million every year for 7 years.
As it stands, National Treasury despite allocating seed money amounting to Ksh300 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).
Here is the full Story
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