By Moses Njagih
Transport Minister Amos Kimunya was at pains to defend his decision to cancel a currency printing contract with De La Rue, occasioning taxpayers a loss of close to Sh3 billion.
Kimunya found himself contradicting other witnesses who have appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), including the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Njuguna NdungÂfu, who admitted that taxpayers had incurred huge losses due to the cancellation of the contract
He was pushed hard to defend his position that, on the contrary, the country saved money in the long run, with committee members challenging him to table his tabulation that the deal was profitable. Transport Minister Amos Kimunya when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday [Photo: Govedi Asutsa/Standard]Â@
Transport Minister Amos Kimunya when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday [Photo: Govedi Asutsa/Standard]Â@
Kimunya strongly fought off accusations by the committee chairman Bonny Khalwale that his cancellation of the contract amounted to micro-managing the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), terming the allegations as "dead wrong".
At one time, tempers flared as Khalwale accused Kimunya of trying to dictate to the committee the terms and lines of his questioning, while the latter accused the Ikolomani MP of bringing irrelevant issues to his questioning.
On De La Rue, the minister was challenged as to why his position was contrasting that of other witnesses who have appeared before the committee, notably Prof NdungÂfu who admitted that the cancellation of the contract had incurred losses close to Sh3 billion.
But the Kipipiri MP stood his ground, arguing that while on the face of the contract the Government would have appeared to save money, in the long run it would have paid dearly if it had accepted the offer.
Kimunya did not only contradict the evidence of other witnesses, but also denounced the decision taken by the Narc government at the time when he was minister to cancel an earlier contract that had been signed between De La Rue and the former Kanu government in 2002, on fears that it was rushed through with a suspicious agenda.
Kimunya further trashed the contract between the CBK and De La Rue that was agreed on later, terming it a disaster and not well thought out.
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