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AfDB blacklists another Chinese Kenya Power contractor over fraud


A Kenya Power substation. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has blacklisted a Chinese contractor that has undertaken several multibillion- shilling projects in Kenya over fraud.

The AfDB, said Sinotec, a power transmission and distribution equipment firm, misrepresented its experience to meet qualification requirements for several AfDB-funded projects.

These include the Last Mile Connectivity Project that links Kenyan homes to the national grid under a subsidised President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government programme meant to speed up electrification.

“An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that Sinotec Company Ltd misrepresented its experience, the value and dates of its reference contracts and its relationship with other bidders while participating in three Bank-financed tenders,” said the AfDB in a statement.

In 2018 Kenya Power contracted Sinotec for the second phase of Last Mile Project.

Sinotec’s brief in the project was mainly to design, supply and install 3,000km low-voltage single-phase lines and supply cables in Kisumu, western Kenya and Mount Kenya regions.

During the three years of debarment, Sinotec will be ineligible to be awarded contracts under any AfDB-financed project or be a subcontractor, consultant, supplier, or service provider of an eligible firm.

AfDBadded the decision will also see other multilateral development banks including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group blacklist the firm.

Kenya Power is currently embroiled in a dispute with local contractors over mega projects. It is accused of locking them out of bidding in favour of foreigners.