Anti-graft body probes KPA over Sh2.5bn cranes tender

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has started investigating a Sh2.5 billion cranes tender by the Kenya Ports Authority.

Last Friday, the ethics commission’s regional boss, Hassan Khalid, told the Business Daily that KPA has been served with a letter to make available to all details pertaining the tender.

He said EACC’s earlier concerns over irregularities of the tender described as “heavy matters” had been dismissed by the Public Procurement Oversight Authority , but the commission decided to pursue the case.

Although none of the top managers had been summoned to appear before the anti-graft commission, Mr Khalid said it was only a matter of time before the ports chiefs were asked to provide details about the mega project.

“Apart from sending a letter to KPA to serve us with all the tender details, we are analysing certain issues to determine whether an irregularity was committed or not and whether the tendering process was done above board,” said Mr Khalid.

A complainant had lodged a case against the tender, claiming that it was awarded fraudulently.

The EACC boss Mumo Matemu confirmed that on January 15 the agency received complaints on the tender that was won by an Irish firm Liebherr Container Cranes last year.

He, however, said it was too early to say whether it was a clean deal or not.

“It will take about two weeks to get to the bottom of the matter as these are heavy matters involving procurement procedures and contracts,” he said.

KPA and a German firm Kocks Krane GMBH Limited have been embroiled in a legal battle over the tender.

The ports authority last year said the Procurement Public Administrative Review Board threw out the appeal filed by M/s Kocks Cranes GMBH.
The ports manager maintained the deal was above board.

“In a ruling dated October 12, PPARB upheld the award to M/s Liebherr Container Cranes saying KPA had followed the procedure laid out in law,” the authority said in a statement.

The tenders included the supply, installation and commissioning of one pilot cutter, 13 reach stalkers, 14 new terminal tractors, 20 new skeletal trailers as well as supply of grabs, mobile harbour crane and 10 ribbed type pneumatic rubber fenders.

Five firms submitted bids and Liebherr is said to have quoted $29,190,850 (Sh2.47 billion) while Kocks Cranes GMBH quoted $31,421,970 (Sh2.67 billion).