Police grill KPA boss in tenders award probe

Detectives are camping at the troubled Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to investigate claims that billions of shillings have been lost to graft.

Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti said KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku (pictured) was questioned by a special team that is looking into overpricing of goods and inflation of tenders.

“Dr Manduku has recorded a statement. He is not above the law to fail to record a statement if the police want him to do so,” said Mr Kinoti.

It was, however, not clear when Manduku gave the statement.

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The officers will also investigate the deal surrounding the expansion of the port in Mombasa and Kisumu, as well as how the tender to relocate the Kilindini Oil Terminal was awarded.

Sources further told The Standard the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was also probing additional graft allegation at KPA.

Yesterday, Kinoti said he had deployed 50 new investigators to get to the bottom of the scandals that have rocked the port authority.

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Last month 12 detectives were deployed to lead investigations at the Mombasa port, by-passing DCI officers stationed in the region.

Two weeks ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta told KPA managers that those entangled in corruption scandals should carry their own crosses when arrested.

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Manduku chairs the KPA Executive Committee (Excom) meetings, whose membership comprises top KPA general managers, before handing over crucial decisions to the board of directors chaired by Gen (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana.

Sources revealed that Manduku had recorded a statement regarding the awarding of tenders valued at Sh1.1 billion for concrete slabs.

It was further revealed that Manduku was asked if KPA regulations, rules and policies regarding the award of tenders allowed such tenders to be given to companies without involving Excom.

The investigators, who have camped at the port for more than three weeks, are said to have recorded statements from top managers and junior officers.

The detectives reportedly asked the managers to state whether bidders for the tenders in question were invited through newspaper advertisements, since the amounts involved were more than Sh50 million.

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Former KPA Procurement Manager Tony Nyamancha however defended the companies that were awarded the tenders against any wrong-doing.

Mr Nyamancha, who spoke to The Standard from Kampala, where he was transferred, insisted that the firms in question had done nothing wrong because the corporation had prequalified them for biannual tenders.

Sources said some of the managers would be treated as State witnesses if suspects were arraigned.

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Kenya Ports AuthorityDirector of Criminal InvestigationsManaging Director Daniel Manduku