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Economy

Missing papers in Kenya Power fraud case found

Kenya Power
Kenya Power worker strengthen a transformer inside the Nyeri county headquarters on November 9, 2014. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Missing tender documents in the Sh400 million suit where former Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC chief executives-- Ken Tarus and Ben Chumo—are in court for irregular purchase of faulty transformers have been recovered.

A Nairobi court Wednesday heard that procurement documents, which had controversially vanished from Kenya Power, were retrieved from different files.

Two witnesses told senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that the documents relating to tender documents were scattered in different files.

The missing documents were tenders papers for purchase of 708 transformers by a firm called Muwa Trading Company for Sh408 million, but 327 of them turned out to be faulty.

Prosecutors said this deal also flouted procurement rules for State entities, landing Mr Tarus, Dr Chumo and other senior managers at the utility in trouble.

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Mr Justin Maina, currently the senior supply chain manager based in Thika, told the court that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations sought documents relating to Muwa Trading Company, which has been accused of supplying faulty transformers to KPLC.

He said the file, which had 12 tender documents relating to the procurement, went missing and they were forced to look for them at the company’s registry. He said that they later discovered that the documents were placed in different files.

The witness was testifying in a case in which former company secretary Beatrice Meso together with former head of supply chain John Ombui as well as Ruth Oyile, have been charged with conspiracy to defeat justice.

It is alleged that they led to the loss of original tender documents, knowing that they would be required for an ongoing criminal case.

They allegedly committed the offence between May 4, 2015 and June 12, 2018.

But Mr Maina said he and his team managed to reconstruct the file after retrieving the documents by the time he was transferred to Thika in September 2018. He recalled that sometimes in December 2016, a woman known as Doris from the legal department took a total of 38 files from his desk, but she later returned them although he did not check inside.

Asked by lawyer Migos Ogamba for Ms Meso and Mr Ombui whether the accused persons were responsible for the loss of the documents, Mr Maina said once documents have been moved to the bulk filer in the registry, they cease being one’s responsibility as many people would access them.

Ms Joyce Walowa, another witness, said some officers used interns to change the files, although she could not recall who gave the instructions.

The witness, who has worked for Kenya Power for more than 22 years, said the DCI requested for the documents when she was the acting supply chain manager logistics. “We conducted the search as a team and we were not able to get the file intact. The team was able to retrieve the documents from different files,” she said.

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