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Energy firm bosses arrested over irregular solar tenders in rural electrification

By Macharia Kamau | March 19th 2021

The Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) is on the spot over irregular dealings with contractors after its former chief executive and three top managers were yesterday arrested on awarding of tenders.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said it is also pursuing four other people who are directors of two companies that were awarded contracts without bidding in a process that may have resulted in the loss of more than Sh103 million.

One of the companies had not been formed by the time Rerec, then operating as the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), initiated the tender process to select the firm that would undertake the job of installing solar systems in public schools.

EACC arrested former CEO Nofatos Munyu, Head of Renewable Energy James Muriithi, Head of Procurement Joel Omusembe and Simon Kirui, an economist at Rerec.

The four are expected in court today to take plea.

The commission said it is pursuing Abdirahman Abdullahi and Abdi Abass, directors of Nav World Ltd. Also being pursued are Hassan Sheikh Mohammed Diriye and Fatuma Abdi Hassan, directors of North Pride Ltd.

The commission directed the four to present themselves at its headquarters immediately.

“EACC has been conducting investigations into allegations of procurement irregularities in a tender… for   prequalification of solar contractors for the electrification of public primary schools amounting to Sh103.4 million,” said the commission’s Chief Executive Twalib Mbarak in a statement yesterday.

Mr Munyu is said to have issued separate letters of successful prequalification. He also went ahead to award the companies separate contracts to install solar systems in various schools.

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