One other multibillion-shilling dam scandal has emerged at the same time as investigations into the Kimwarer and Arror dams within the Rift Valley proceed.
A Chinese language agency awarded a Sh19 billion tender to assemble Lowaat Dam in Turkana County had been blacklisted by six multilateral growth banks (MDBs) on the time the Nationwide Irrigation Board (NIB) invited bids for the mission.
The weird award of the tender, which was characterised by authorized drama between 2016 and 2018, is ready to additional carry the lid on the soiled world of massive initiatives, which frequently go away the taxpayer poorer.
The tender additionally turns the highlight onto how Chinese language corporations are elbowing their means into profitable contracts in Africa by hook and criminal.
Simply final month, the Nation uncovered an identical scandal on the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), the place one other blacklisted firm, China Communications Building Firm (CCCC), was awarded a Sh40 billion tender to assemble the Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT).
The matter is presently below investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Fee (EACC).
On this new scandal, NIB in July final yr awarded China Worldwide Water and Electrical Company (CWE) a young to assemble the dam.
The award was not with out controversy as CWE had initially misplaced the tender to Sinotec Firm Ltd, which had shaped a three way partnership with three others and quoted Sh29 billion.
CWE efficiently appealed the award on the Public Procurement Administrative Evaluate Board (PPRB).
In its ruling, PPRB discovered that NIB had fraudulently elevated CWE’s bid to be at par with Sinotec Restricted.
The procuring entity, in what it termed a correction of errors, elevated the applicant’s value to $290,699,827 from $179,943,027.
Consequently, the overview board annulled the tender and directed NIB to conduct recent analysis on June 14.
Then one thing unusual occurred every week later. As a substitute of calling for a recent tender as ordered by the overview board, NIB notified CWE that it will now undertake development of the dam at Sh18.5 billion.
That is regardless of the corporate having stated it will do the work at Sh17.9 billion. Why did NIB determine so as to add an additional Sh600 million to CWE’s bid?
This addition was made even after PPRB found that the irrigation board had added an additional Sh11 billion to CWE’s earlier bid earlier than cancelling it and ordering for a recent tender.
“There’s completely nothing improper with the tender,” NIB’s managing director Gitonga Mugambi insisted on Friday.
What’s much more intriguing is that the World Financial institution, in September 2014, discovered CWE responsible of fraudulently profitable dam development contracts in South East Asia and Africa.
In Africa, Uganda cancelled a $1.6 billion (Sh161.6 trillion) contract the corporate had gained in 2012 for the development of the 660MW Karuma hydropower mission.
It was found that the tender committee had been bribed with Sh120 million to miss CWE’s suspect credentials.
The World Financial institution instituted investigations, which revealed that CWE had lied in regards to the variety of initiatives it had accomplished with a purpose to win the tender.
Consequently, all the opposite eight MDB’s together with the Africa Growth Financial institution blacklisted the agency.
This occurred in September 2014, and the blacklisting interval was imagined to final till September 2017. However in February 2017, Japan Worldwide Cooperation Company determined to increase the debarment interval indefinitely.
The NIB had, on July 20, 2016, marketed the tender for the development of the dam. Ten corporations expressed curiosity.
Out of those, six have been shortlisted and invited to supply technical and monetary proposals. Solely three managed to supply these necessities on time.
CMC Di Ravenna, which is presently below probe over the Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal, put in a Sh34 billion bid.
Sinotec stated it will do the work at Sh29 billion, whereas CWE stated it will dig the dam at Sh17.9 billion.
A whistleblower wrote to PPRB on September 17 final yr and raised the flag about CWE’s ineligibility primarily based on its corrupt dealings previously in a letter that’s within the Saturday Nation’s possession, however his criticism fell on deaf ears.
Part 41 B of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act says, “the board shall debar an individual from taking part in procurement… on the bottom that the particular person has dedicated an offence regarding procurement below some other Act or legislation of Kenya or some other jurisdiction.”
However NIB, in its response to the whistleblower’s letter, insisted that the truth that CWE had been blacklisted was not floor sufficient to cancel the contract.
“The bidder was required to signal a declaration that he has not and won’t be concerned in corrupt or fraudulent practices.
“The bidder didn’t undergo the board a declaration that he was debarred from taking part in public procurement,” NIB stated in a letter signed by Mr Mugambi.