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House calls for probe into GDC’s Sh1.7bn deal

Dr Silas Masinde Simiyu, the managing director, Geothermal Development Company. PHOTO | FILE
Dr Silas Masinde Simiyu, the managing director, Geothermal Development Company. PHOTO | FILE 

Parliament has ordered the anti-graft agency to investigate how the Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) inflated the transportation of power plant equipment in a deal worth to Sh1.7 billion.

The corporation offered Bonfide Clearing and Forwarding a contract in 2012 to move geothermal rigs and other equipment in 40 lots with each costing Sh42 million within a distance of 11 kilometres, bringing the worth of the entire deal to Sh1.7 billion.

The same firm is said to have charged KenGen Sh20 million last year for a similar contract covering a longer distance of 15 kilometres.

The National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee says the huge difference in the two similar contracts calls for investigations into the deal awarded by GDC.

The committee has directed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to establish whether GDC conspired with contractors to inflate the value of contracts and hand over the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions by March 30.

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The committee received copies of GDC and KenGen’s rig move contracts from a whistleblower. The committee has also asked for investigations into claims that GDC acquired over 62 trucks and earth movers alleged to move the heavy geothermal exploration equipment. The trucks are said to be unused at GDC’s Menengai site in Nakuru.

The committee criticised the anti-graft agency and the Director of Public Prosecutions for delays in investigating the whistleblower’s complaint.

The MPs also noted that the commission was yet to conclude its investigations into matters relating to the Anglo Leasing scandal, botched police recruitment, the National Social Security Fund and Kenya Pipeline Company.

GDC managing director Silas Simiyu has been questioned before by Parliament over the agency’s multi-billion shilling procurement deals.

This followed a rocky relationship between Dr Simiyu and GDC’s former chair, Simon Gicharu who claimed that the corporation lacked transparency.

Dr Simiyu, however, denied the allegations insisting that GDC’s financial dealings and operations were “above board”.

MPs have in the past questioned the sinking of Sh51.8 billion in the past five years into GDC without much to show for it.

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