11 December 2018

Kenya: 7 Kenya Pipeline Officials Arrested in New Sh660 Million Scandal

Nairobi — Seven officials of the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) have been arrested over a Sh660 million scandal involving the procurement of hydrant valves.

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The officials were arrested Tuesday morning by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives who are now looking for six others, including former Managing Director Charles Tanui.

EACC Spokesperson Yassin Amaro said the tender was inflated by more than 1,000 per cent, making it one of the biggest scandals at Kenya's largest parastatal.

The arrests came a day after the outgoing KPC Managing Director Joe Sang was charged alongside other officials over a Sh 1.9 billion Kisumu Oil Jetty project that is said to have been executed without prior planning, contravening procurement laws and regulations.

Sang and five other top officials of the State corporation were released on a Sh2 million cash bail each after they denied abuse of office and wilful failure to comply with procurement regulation.

Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti further ordered them to deposit passports at the court registry as condition for their release pending a mention on January 22.

"I order the accused persons released on a bond Sh 3 million with one surety each or Sh2 million cash bail. They are also ordered to sign a personal bond of Sh2 million," he directed on Monday.

Sang, Gloria Khafafa, Vincent Cheruiyot, Nicholas Gitobu and Samuel Odoyo were accused of violating Sections 45 (2) (c), and 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

The public prosecutor faulted them for commencing the construction of a Sh1.9 billion oil jetty in Kisumu prior to requisite planning as set out in public procurement regulations.

Sang faced additional charges of wilful failure to adhere to applicable procedures relating to management of public funds as well as abuse of office.

The DPP also charged Odoyo with wilful failure to conform to applicable procedures relating to management of public funds.

Lawyers Ahmednassir Abdullahi and Tom Ojienda dismissed the charges as generic telling court that the accusations lacked specificity.

"What we have are general charges replicated to multiple persons being charged this morning," Abdullahi contested.

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