3 July 2014

Kenya: MPs Want KPC Pipeline Stopped Over Tender

The Sh43 billion Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline project should be suspended until major issues involving the tendering are sorted out.

The Public Investments Committee of the National Assembly has warned the government against proceeding with the project awarded the Lebanese firm Zakhem International Construction.

The committee chaired by Eldas MP Adan Keynan has summoned the Kenya Pipeline Company managing director Charles Tanui to explain the bribery claims and why the tender was allegedly rushed.

Tanui has not honoured seven invitations delivered by the committee and two others by the Energy, Information and Communication Committee that is also investigating the matter.

The Public Investments Committee directed the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit of the project and write a report which the committee will use to scrutinise the tender.

The Public Procurement and Oversight Authority that cleared the tender is expected to produce a detailed report on all the procurement processes used in awarding the tender.

Yesterday the Public Investments Committee members protested that the KPC management disrespects House committees. "They are violating the constitution and they must be told so.

We are here because of the accountability required of us as the representatives of the people," Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said. Funyula MP Paul Otuoma said a moratorium should be imposed on the project.

"What I am seeing happening is someone making serious decisions without involving the committee and leaving us with historical data and once they have achieved their mission that is when they rush to us," he said.

Among the issues the Kenya Pipeline MD is expected to respond to are claims of corruption and that companies with much lower bids were unfairly scored despite producing the best value for money.

However, the administrative review board of the procurement authority dismissed the claims filed by three companies that had lost the bid. Its chairman Paul Gicheru said there was no corruption and tender regulations were not breached.

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