EACC arrests ex-Renewable Energy Authority CEO over tender

Integrity Center Headquarters in Nairobi (PHOTO: FILE)

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Rural and Renewable Energy Authority is in the spotlight over irregular dealings with contractors after its former chief executive as well as three top managers were on Thursday arrested on claims of awarding tenders irregularly.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission said it is also pursuing another four individuals, 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 of taxpayers’ money.

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

EACC on Thursday arrested Nofatos Ng’anga Munyu the former chief executive, James Muriithi the Head of Renewable Energy, Joel Omusembe -Head of Procurement and Simon Kirui Economist at Rerec. The four will be arraigned in court on Friday, March 19 to take a plea.

It added that it is pursuing Abdirahman Dakane Abdullahi and Abdi Majid Abass, who are both directors of Nav World Limited. Also being pursued are Hassan Sheikh Mohammed Diriye and Fatuma Abdi Hassan directors of North Pride Limited. The commission has directed the four to present themselves at its headquarter – Integrity Centre – 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  in  Kenya  amounting  to Sh103.4 million,” said Twalib Mbarak chief executive EACC in a statement.

“Upon completion of the investigation and according to section 35 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, the file was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who upon review concurred with EACC recommendations to charge the… eight individuals and two companies.”

The former Rerec chief executive, the three managers and the four directors of the two companies as well as the companies themselves will answer to charges that include conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office, willful failure to comply with the procurement law and fraudulent acquisition of public property.

Both Nav World Limited and North Price, according to EACC, did not participate in the tender for prequalification for the installation of solar systems to public primary schools in Kenya.

Mr Munyu, the then chief executive of Rerec, which was then going by the name Rural Electrification Authority (REA), issued separate letters of successful prequalification. He also went ahead to award them separate contracts to install solar systems in different public primary schools.

Nav World bagged a contract of Sh39. million while Northpride got one for Sh47 million.

The Commission Nav World had not been incorporated by the time that REA was undertaking the tendering process to select companies that would undertake the project.

“M/s Nav World Limited was incorporated by the Registrar of Companies on September 2, 2014, whereas submission of bid documents was done on May 30, 2014. This was three months before incorporation,” said Mbarak.