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DoD, contractor conspired to dupe President, team told

BUSIA
By | August 5th 2011

The Department of Defence and a construction firm hoodwinked President Kibaki to open an incomplete building at the Kenya Military Academy, Lanet, in June, a house committee heard yesterday.

Members of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee heard yesterday that the President opened phase one of the academy, without a certificate of completion being issued.

It also emerged that N K Brothers, the construction firm awarded the tender, had been blacklisted, therefore, not elligible to be awarded the tender.

Committee chairman Aden Keynan said according to a report of a Public Accounts Committee, the company had been blacklisted, an issue the company director, Pravin Khoda, strongly protested.

He told the committee that their client (DoD) was in a hurry to have the building commissioned before completion. "We listen to what our client tells us. They wanted the building commissioned and we had no choice," said Khoda when he appeared before the committee at Continental House yesterday.

The committee has been investigating contracts awarded by the DoD and other issues related to promotion of senior military officers.

Members of the committee took Khoda to task over how the company was awarded a second contract worth over Sh1billion by DoD yet there were queries raised in the first phase of the Kenya Military Academy.

Barely met targets

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"The consultants, in their report, alerted DoD that you were barely meeting your monthly targets and even went ahead to warn that you should not be awarded the second phase of the project," said Keynan.

But Khoda said he was not aware of the consultants’ report. The company is supposed to hand over the first phase of the project on August 7 but President Kibaki commissioned it as a complete project in June 28.

Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa wondered why the construction firm indicated on the plaque that the building was complete yet they knew very well that it was still under construction.

"If you look at the plaque, it states clearly that the building was officially commissioned by the President on June 28 after its successive completion. Do you mean the President was misled?" posed Wamalwa.

N K Brothers, it emerged had been excluded in the second phase of the project but the decision was reversed by senior officers at DoD who ordered for re-tendering, which was then won by the company.

— Stories by Steve Mkawale, David Ochami

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