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AfDB blacklists contractor over fraud in Sh1b project

BUSINESS
By Frankline Sunday | May 19th 2021
Africa Development Bank headquarters. [Courtesy]

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has blacklisted Kenyan firm Mactebac Contractors and its Director Joram Opala for three years over fraud in a Sh1 billion project.

In a statement issued yesterday, AfDB Group said Mactebec Contractors and its affiliates will be barred from participating in projects financed by the lender as well as other banks until the firm and its director undergo an integrity compliance programme.

“An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that Mactebac Contractors Ltd and Opala engaged in fraudulent practices during a tender for the construction works for Malaba Water and Sanitation Project under the Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Program in Kenya,” said AfDB in its statement.

In 2019, the Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency, the project's implementing agency sought a contractor to build 22.5 kilometres of piping, a new water treatment plant, rehabilitation of an existing plant, staff houses and storage tanks.

Joram Opala Otieno at the Milimani Anti-corruption Court in August 2020. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

The project was meant to support the development of water supply infrastructure in 19 towns and sanitation infrastructure in 17 towns.

Last year, Opala, his brother and sister-in-law were charged alongside Migori Governor Okoth Obado and 12 others over graft in county contracts. At the expiry of the debarment, Mactebac Contractors will only be eligible to participate in bank group-financed projects by implementing an integrity compliance programme.

The firm and its affiliates will also be barred from participating in projects financed by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the American Development Bank.

In February this year, AfDB banned Global Interjapan Kenya Ltd for engaging in fraud in a five-year Sh6.3 billion project.

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