11 July 2018

Kenya: Court Orders Governor Ongwae to Reveal Details of 'Faceless Tenderpreneurs'

The High Court has given Kisii Governor James Ongwae seven days to respond to a road tendering case facing him.

Kisii High Court Judge David Majanja further directed that the governor serves petitioners Boniface Mangaa and Vincent Gekonge with the affidavits.

Also enjoined in the case are the county executive in charge of roads and Mr Ongwae's chief officer, urban engineer, head of procurement and the county government.

On Wednesday, Judge Majanja also ordered Mr Chweya Onsembe, who is representing Kisii County government, to make full disclosure of information on the controversial multimillion-shilling tenders.

RENOVATION

The petitioners want the county government to reveal details of "faceless tenderpreneurs" currently renovating a number of streets in Kisii town ahead of the Kenya Inter County Sports and Cultural Association games.

The petitioners, through lawyer Samson Sagwe, argue that none of the contractors have had their identities revealed in signposts or adverts as required by law.

They argue that a number of streets are reportedly undergoing repairs by various contractors. They include the roads linking Kisii Police Station with Cooperative Bank branch, Victory Catholic Church and National Bank, Capital and Shivling Supermarket road and the Kisii Level Six Hospital and Falcon junction.

ADVERSISEMENT

Mr Mangaa and Gekonge have further contested the manner in which the tenders were issued, saying the county defied procurement laws.

According to the petitioners, there was no advertisement placed before the tenders were awarded.

Mr Mangaa and Gekonge had initially written to the county government demanding explanation regarding the tenders.

They argued that tendering laws require that county governments make public, in the form of advertising, all tenders awarded.

They now want the court to invalidate the tenders due to the "blatant flouting" of the regulations.

They also want the holders of the offices, among them Governor Ongwae, who are behind the alleged tendering scandal, to be declared unfit to hold public office. The hearing continues on July 23.

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