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Auditor admits grave errors in Sh7.8b Covid contracts report

Public Investment Committee (PIC) chairman Abdulswamad Nasir Shariff (right) with Likoni MP Mishi Mboko during the committee’s sitting at Parliament Nairobi yesterday. [David Njaaga, Standard]

MPs investigating the purchase of the Sh.7.8 billion Covid-19-related materials by Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) are reading mischief in claims of errors in an audit on some of the payments.

An Auditor General’s special report had indicated that Shop N Buy Company received Sh970 million while Nanopay was paid Sh340 million.

But the Auditor General’s office now claims an error in its report saying Nanopay only received Sh34 million. It did not immediately provide details of the errors in payments to Shop N Buy.

Members of National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee (PIC) however said they would require proper explanation about the said errors, citing the rigorous audit process.

“How is this a typing error? How can the one zero be missing. These reports are done by qualified officers and they are checked and counter-checked before presentation for signing,” said Likoni MP Mishi Mboko.

“This time, we need an explanation. Every time there is error, it is blamed on typing or computer,” she added.

Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang said the team will have to check with the said companies by going through their tender documents to ascertain the claims of errors.

PIC chairman Abdulswamad Nassir said the reported errors will form the basis of their session with the said firms. The MP said most of the contracts were entered into in total violation of the procurement law.

“All the 102 firms used the same system. They all supplied before they were called to come and negotiate with Kemsa. This was totally against the law,” said the Mvita MP Mr Nassir.

The two companies were listed yesterday for appearance before PIC but did not turn up forcing the probe team to issue summons to the directors of Shop N Buy for snubbing its invite without any communication.

Shop N Buy is one of the 102 firms that benefited from the Kemsa contracts to supply Covid-19 equipment.

A report by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) presented to the committee revealed that only 13 out of the firms were tax compliant.

The report shows that only 13 companies applied for the Import Declaration Form (IDF), a mandatory requirement for importers.

It has also emerged that Kilig Limited, which is also at the centre of the alleged scandal, changed ownership three times.

Documents by Registrar of Companies Sarah Ndung’u show that the firm was registered on January 22, 2020, with its directors as Zhu Jinping and Willbroda Gachoka.

In April, the two transferred their shares to Collins Bush Wanjala, who also later handed them over to Ivy Minyow Onyango in May.

“Form CR9 notice of cessation of office of director dated May 7, 2020 and form CR19 special resolution dated May 5, 2020 and lodged by Collins Bush Wanjala, stated that Collins Bush Wanjala resigned as director/shareholder and transferred his 1,000 shares to Ivy Minyow Onyango,” states the document by the registrar.

Ivy had last year declined to share details of the previous directors of the company when she appeared before the MPs late last year.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

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