Kenya: Kuria's Relatives and Friends Received Mega Tenders From CDF

21 January 2020

Companies owned by close relatives and friends of Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria received tenders worth millions of shillings from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) kitty during his first term as MP.

An investigation by the Nation shows that most of the companies were formed between 2014 and 2015, just after Mr Kuria was elected as MP, and proceeded to win the tenders.

In total, 14 companies made at least Sh100 million from 31 tenders funded either by the CDF or jointly with the Ministry of Education. The tenders were mostly for building schools.

FORGERY CLAIMS

The constituency received a total of Sh365,204,334 between the 2014/2015 and 2017/2018 financial years when the contracts in question were issued.

In October last year, Mr Robert Kibe Githongo, who was the CDF chair for Gatundu South when the tenders were awarded, was arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for forging his academic certificates.

Mr Githongo, a key ally of Mr Kuria and the ward rep for Kiamwangi, is facing corruption charges for "making a false document, uttering a false document and making a false declaration".

He was one of the key campaigners for Mr Kuria during the 2013 elections and is also a pastor at the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa.

It is during his tenure as CDF chair that companies owned by people close to Mr Kuria got contracts in questionable circumstances.

BROTHER IMPLICATED

Finish Line Construction Ltd, which received a Sh5.7 million contract to build four classrooms at Ituuru High School, is partly owned by Aloise Kinyanjui Kuria -- the MP's brother and a Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer in Kiambu.

And although he does not have any official roles at the CDF committee, the MP's brother is usually seen hanging around the office.

Our sources have told us that he is very influential in that office. A search at the company registry showed that Mr Kinyanjui owns 50 per cent shareholding in the company while the other half is owned by a Mr Sammy Andrew Kamau.

The firm, which was formed on October 28, 2014, is listed as being involved in constructing buildings, houses, apartments and repairs.

It also got other tenders at Gikure, Githaruru, Wamwangi and Karinga secondary schools in 2015.

The second company, Supreme General Traders, was at that time awarded a Sh5,822,822 tender to build four storeyed classrooms at Mutunguru Secondary.

QUESTIONABLE CONTRACTS

The company, which was registered on November 4, 2014, has James Kogi Kuria and John Ngigi Kuria as its shareholders, with 50 per cent ownership each.

The third company, Numerical Strength Ltd, was awarded a Sh25 million tender to build a laboratory at Muhoho High School and another Sh5.9 million tender to put up a dormitory at Gitare Secondary.

Numerical Strength was registered on August 13, 2014 and is owned by John Ngigi Kuria (30 per cent) and Monica Ngonyo Ngendo (70 per cent).

The fourth company, Lujatech Enterprises Ltd, was awarded a Sh4.9 million tender to build a dormitory at Gathuri Secondary and a Sh5.3 million tender for similar works at Ngenda Secondary.

The company was registered on July 8, 2015, just a month before the tenders were issued that year.

It is owned by Tresia Mwihaki Regeru, Charles Regeru Nguru, Lucy Wambui Regeru and Jane Muthoni Regeru.

Mr Nguru is also a shareholder of Mwaura Timber Yard, which won construction contracts at Gathiru Secondary, Gatiru Day and Nembu Secondary.

FRIENDS CASH IN

Another Company, Ms Kiki Holding Ltd, received a Sh4.9 million tender to build a dormitory block at Kiamwangi Secondary and another of a similar cost at Wamwangi Secondary.

Kiki Holdings, which was registered on December 22, 2009, has Jane Wambui Kuria as a majority shareholder and Duncan Mwangi Ngugi as the second shareholder. Ms Kuria is a police officer.

Kurstan Builders Ltd, which got construction tenders at Icariri, Ruhuri and Nembu secondary schools, has Stanley Kuria Ngugi and Stephen Kamau Wamutwe as shareholders.

Likewise, Renson Kenya Ltd got a Sh4.7 million tender to build a dormitory at Kamutua Secondary.

One of its directors, John Muturi Njenga, is said to be a personal friend of the MP. The other director is Veronica Wanjiru Muturi.

Several of the contracts have been listed as completed in the annual filings by the constituency to the National Government Constituencies Development Fund.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

And while this shows possibly no wrongdoing by the companies, the fact that they are owned by people close to the MP could present a conflict of interest.

"A public officer shall not award a contract or influence the award of a contract to himself, a spouse or relative, business associate or a corporation, partnership or any other body which the officer has interest," says Chapter 12 of the Public Officer Ethics Act.

"A public officer shall not hold shares or have any other interest in a corporation, partnership of other body, directly or through another person, if holding those shares or having that interest would result in the public officer's personal interests conflicting with his official duties," says the Act.

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