Probe: KPA boss arrested in cargo clearance deal

Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku. [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Daniel Manduku has been arrested as detectives investigate cargo clearance at Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi.

Mr Manduku was arrested alongside Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner for Customs Kevin Safari. They were taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for processing ahead of their appearance in court today. 

The two, who were picked in Nairobi, are expected to face at least seven charges in relation to allocation of space for cargo from Mombasa at the ICD.

They are among several other officials under investigations over allocation of space at ICD.

Manduku is accused that between March 21 and June 14 last year, he jointly with others, connived to gazette Nairobi Inland Cargo Terminal as a KPA peripheral facility. This was allegedly done despite the fact the facility did not meet the requirements for gazzetment. 

Manduku and Safari are also accused that between December 31, 2019 and January 27, 2020 they conspired to defeat justice by influencing payment of Sh3.1 million for KPA peripheral facility licence for a company. This was allegedly done to correct an illegality of none payment of the same that was already under investigations.

The KPA boss is also accused of abusing his authority by unlawfully recommending to KRA gazettment of Nairobi Inland Cargo Terminal (NICT) as a KPA peripheral facility to a firm that did not tender for provision of container warehouse services in Nairobi.

Manduku is also accused of breaching public trust by unlawfully recommending gazettment of NICT in the process disadvantaging seven bidders that were successful for the tender.

Further, he is accused of willfully disobeying provisions of Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015 by recommending gazettment of NICT as a KPA peripheral facility to a firm that did not tender for provision of container warehouse services in Nairobi.

This way, investigators said, Manduku disregarded the requirement to use a standard process in all procurements and asset disposal.

He is also accused of neglecting duty.

Safari faces, among others, charges of neglecting his duties by failing to adhere to regulations governing appointment of a facility as a KPA peripheral storage agreed upon by KRA and KPA.

He is said to have gazetted a company, as a KPA peripheral facility, that did not meet requirements in respect to separate entrance and exit areas. The same applied to NICT.

This is said to have happened in 2017 after a decision was made to allocate two companies a tender to construct peripheral cargo storage facilities on behalf of the KPA next to the ICD.

The storage facilities are currently being used to store cargo.

Before the decision, officials said the ICD had over 300 twenty foot equivalent units containers at the yard hence the need to have the space to clear the cargo.

As a result, container traffic on the Standard Gauge Railway shot up by four times, with the ICD receiving up to seven trains of cargo per day from just one when the freight service was launched in December 2017.


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