By Edward Indakwa
Let’s begin with good news. Police officers in Kitale who arrested two suspects with hand grenades destined for a Church in Nairobi must be lauded.
We don’t care whether members of the public tipped them off. They must be ordered to report to Vigilance House at once for a nice photograph and a hefty upward jolt on their pay slips.
Rarely do we have the police nabbing crooks before mayhem is unleashed. Those ‘boys’ have, therefore, saved us the agony of leaving no stone unturned long after a savage blast and the loss of lives, blood and tears. Kudos.
Now to mundane stuff: let’s ignore the fact that it took us nearly three weeks to procure a container worth Sh70,000 to cart away the remains of the helicopter that ended the lives of a senior Minister of Government, his deputy and four police officers.
It is understandable. Government procurement is a minefield. Who knows which Pandora’s box we would have opened had we hurriedly purchased a plastic container from Gikomba from the lowest bidder?
I say this because while the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is being accused of not settling for the lowest bidder; the Police Department is being roasted for just that in regard to the police chopper that killed Prof George Saitoti and company.
Often times, the moment it is reported that the lowest bidder was passed over, the whole country, edged on by the media, erupt in a mighty scream, yelling, “See? Corruption!”
But the truth is that most times, the lowest bidder can’t deliver. They are often a briefcase outfit assembled with insider knowledge to win a Government tender. Either that or they are hopelessly incompetent and have no idea what the scope of work entails.
That is why after we award them the tender; they discover six months down the line that they are grossly under quoted. The work stalls and they start demanding more money.
So when a project that was awarded say Sh600,000 million finally gobbles up Sh9.2 million, the public, again edged on by the media, erupt in a mighty scream, yelling, “See? Corruption!”
What is this fascination with the lowest bidder when everyone knows that cheap is expensive crap?