Kenya: Sonko's Date With Anti-Graft Body Over Irregular Payments in Stadia Project

14 October 2019

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko could be headed for another date with the anti-graft agency to shed more light over irregular payment of millions in the ongoing construction of Dandora Stadium.

This comes after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives launched investigations into the alleged procurement illegalities and irregular payment of Sh196 million for the stadium.

The probe is targeting top county officials over their involvement in the violation of procurement laws in regards to procuring a contractor for the multi-million project.

EACC has been investigating City Hall over alleged irregular procurement of garbage tenders as well as failure to remit billions to Kenya Revenue Authority in taxes deducted from employees' payroll.

EACC communications officer Yasin Amaro told the Nation that they have received a complaint regarding the tendering process of the construction of four stadia in Nairobi, Dandora Stadium included, and have launched preliminary investigations.

"Yes we have already received the complaint and as is the tradition, we have initiated preliminary investigations," said Mr Amaro.

The Sh1.03 billion worth of tender was awarded to M/s Scanjet Construction Limited for the construction and completion of four stadia within the county for a fixed period of 18 months.

The other stadia are Kawangware and Kihumbuini both at Sh250 million, and Ziwani at Sh186.6 million.

TENDERING PROCESS

The investigations follows recommendations by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) which questioned the tendering process and standards of the work already done at the Stadium.

The authority flagged irregularities in the awarding tender, alteration of contract specification, suspected irregular payments and forgery of documents.

This is after the authority received complaint over the issue on June 13, 2019 with the complainant raising several issues over the Dandora Stadium project including alleging that the contract of Dandora Stadium, awarded to Scanjet Construction Limited, with cost for the construction of a concrete structure, however, the contractor put up steel structures in clear contravention of the specifications of the contract.

The complainant also alleged that the county government went ahead to irregularly pay the contractor despite warnings from the technical evaluators of the county as well as alleging that contract documents are being forged including cabinet memorandum to state that the stadium should be steel structures when the work is at 70 percent complete.

After its investigations, PPRA indicted the county government for paying Sh196.87 million to the contractor despite the technical evaluators questioning the quality of work, recommending remedial actions to be taken against any party that may be found culpable for any breach.

Nevertheless, when sought for comment, Governor's Director of Communication Elkana Jacob refuted the payments claims saying that the contractor has been paid only Sh98 million.

"People should not be not rush making conclusions in matters finance but be very keen. If not for constant politics, Nairobi would be very far," said Mr Jacob.

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