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EACC probes Kenya Power board officials

BUSINESS
By Roselyne Obala | August 7th 2021

Kenya Power and Lighting Company MD Bernard Ngugi during a press conference.[Boniface Okendo,Standard]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has launched investigations into the board of Kenya Power over alleged interference in the management’s work as well as award of tenders.

The Saturday Standard is seized of letters written to the Kenya Power acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rosemary Oduor, board chairperson Vivienne Yeda and copied to the Ministry of Energy officials over the investigations.

Coming just a day after the unceremonious exit of Kenya Power CEO Bernard Ngugi, the EACC sleuths are investigating allegations of unlawful interference by the board in the procurement processes. In a letter dated August 5, 2021, EACC Chief Executive Maj (Rtd) Twalib Mbarak wrote to the Kenya Power chairperson and CEO indicating the reason for the probe.

 He said the removal of Ngugi was attributed to the conflict of interest. “The commission is undertaking investigation on the reported complaints to inform further action against those found culpable,” stated the EACC boss.

The anti-graft agency boss said there were allegations that the board is involved in the operation of procurement functions contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act (PPADA), the State corporation Act Cap 446 and the Mwongozo Code.

“It is reported that the board is involved in the preparation and approval of the specifications for various tenders and extension of contracts,” noted Mbarak. “It is further reported that the board has been cancelling tenders, which have been processed through a procurement process, without due regard to the provisions of PPADA on the cancellation of a procurement.”

He faulted the decisions and actions of the board, noting that are reported to have adversely affected the institution in executing the procurement functions and exposed it and taxpayers to heavy financial liability in the event of litigation. The same was also copied to Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge where EACC urged the board to adhere to PPADA, 2015 and Regulations in the procurement processes.

The commission says the allegations raise serious ethical and legal issues.The boardroom wars between the secretariat and the board are attributed to the losses the company has registered lately. 

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