Who brokered the renewal of contract of Daniel Barasa as the chief executive officer at National Irrigation Board even with multibillion scandals engulfing it? That is the question MPs on the parliamentary Agriculture Committee wondered aloud as they compiled their report.
The committee has ordered the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the controversial procurement of Sh14.5 billion irrigation project with a view to have individuals involved prosecuted.
NIB procurement officer is Boaz Akello is an ally of Barasa. It is emerging that Uhuru Kenyatta’s private secretary Jomo Gechaga and the head of civil service Joseph Kinyua pushed for his contract renewal.
The MPs have information Barasa used his relationship with Thika MP Alice Ng’ang’a to have him reach Jomo and Kinyua. Immediately afterward the two love birds got married, Ng’ang’a has been pushing to have her husband saved from implication in any parliamentary report negatively.
Her firms are doing multi-million shillings tender work at NIB, making it a conflict of interest contrary to the provisions of the constitution. Surprisingly, they were allocated work despite not participating in the tendering process as duly required under law.
The Galana-Kwalu Irrigation Scheme, a Jubilee flagship project is now a cash cow. Parliament wants Auditor General Edward Ouko to conduct a forensic audit to unearth the malpractice. They want to project suspended pending re-avaluation to put on the right footing.
It has since emerged that Sh7.5 billion pumped into developing 500 process and agencies involved in implementation have been misused irregularly.
Barasa and his associates pushed a well-known contractor to win the tender for second feasibility study on the Galana project which was budgeted at Sh793 million but it was eventually awarded at Sh900 million.
A section of the board and management staff want Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission to pitch tent at NIB and bring to light the massive looting costing taxpayers billions.
Barasa in 2013 was allied to ODM and even offered his private residence to serve the opposition activities. He now claims that William Ruto and his allies are out to remove him from office.
It is on these grounds that he has reached Uhuru side in Jubilee via Jomo and Kinyua. Fear is that the Galana project will be a white elephant and might be used against Uhuru 2017 campaigns when he will be gunning for his second term in office
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