17 August 2012

Kenya: Speaker Orders Probe on Tender

HOUSE speaker Kenneth Marende yesterday ordered three committees to investigate the cancellation of the tender for the expansion of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Transport minister Amos Kimunya is at the centre of the controversy involving the construction of a new airport terminal in Nairobi at an estimated cost of Sh55 billion.

Marende ordered the committees of Budget, Transport and Finance to investigate the matter and hand in reports in fourteen days. Marende asked the committees to "move quickly as the matter is urgent because it is part of the plan to affirm Nairobi's position as the leading aviation hub in the Eastern Africa".

"Kenya is "threatened" by South Africa, Ethiopia and Rwanda all who are bidding to become the transit hub on the continent," he said. Belgut MP Charles Keter had asked for a ministerial statement from the minister on the circumstances which led to the cancellation and why Kimunya ignored the legal opinion by the attorney general.

MPs John Mbadi, Charles Kilonzo, Mithika Linturi, Aden Duale and Charles Keter, produced documents that indicated Kimunya ignored at least three legal opinions from the AG, the office of the PM, the Procurement Oversight Authority and even the acting secretary to the cabinet Francis Kimemia not to cancel the tender. Kimunya said the ministry of Transport is waiting for a report from the Procurement Authority He also denied that he has vested interest in the Chinese Construction Engineering State Corporation.

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