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Sh1.4b deal that raised eyebrows in Tourism Ministry

COUNTIES
By Wilfred Ayaga | Aug 24th 2016 | 2 min read
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phylis Kandie. The Ministry of Tourism hurriedly hired a consultancy firm and paid 70 per cent of the total fee just a day before the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary assumed office. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

The Ministry of Tourism hurriedly hired a consultancy firm and paid 70 per cent of the total fee just a day before a newly appointed Cabinet Secretary assumed office.

A day before the Cabinet Secretary, Ms Phylis Kandie, took office, a deal was signed and the company paid Sh900 million out of the total Sh1.4 billion for the construction of Ronald Ngala Utalii College. The payment was made even before the work started.

The money was to cover the cost of architectural drawings, a development Kandie has termed suspicious.

"When I asked why the consultant was paid the money, I was informed by my officers that most of the work by the consultant, which involved drawings had been completed and what remained was for supervision of the project," the former Tourism CS told the National Assembly Public Investments Committee.

The contract was signed on May 14, 2013, a day before the CS took over her duties at the ministry.

Kandie, the current Cabinet Secretary for Labour and East African Community, told the committee that she took steps to scale down the cost of the project after consultations with her officers and various stakeholders.

Although the initial cost of the project was Sh8.9 billion to put up both the college and a five star hotel, the Government made a decision to forego the building of the  hotel and settled on the college at a cost of Sh4.9 billion.

The MPs expressed concern that Kenyans could end up paying more as it was discovered that the consultancy fee was exclusive of the actual cost of the project.

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