Contracts linked to the loss of Sh468 million at the National Youth Service (NYS) were awarded outside the stipulated tendering period, the court heard on Wednesday.
Julius Kiplagat Kandie, a witness in the trial of 32 people implicated in the loss, said that although seven companies had qualified for award of contracts, the ministerial tender committee, which he chaired in 2011, awarded contracts to 10 firms.
Mr Kandie told the court while being cross-examined by lawyer Migos Ogamba that the tender validity period was 120 days but the contracts were signed about 140 days later, some 22 days after the expiry of the period.
Pushed further, the witness admitted that as per the law, anything signed outside the validity period, in the absence of an extension, is null and void.
He said there is no record showing that there was an extension of the period. He added that although it was the ministerial committee which awarded the contracts, the signing was done by the accounting officer, in this case, the Permanent Secretary. Of the companies that were awarded the contracts, Mr Kandie said that seven had been prequalified to continue to the next stage.
He further told principal magistrate Peter Ooko that after the committee completes its work, the procurement departments award the contracts based on the minutes and once a circular is generated and sent to ministries, state departments and agencies, have to comply with it.
In the current case, three companies — Ersatz Enterprises, Arkroad Holdings and Kalabash Food Supplies — are alleged to have received Sh60 million yet they were not among those which tendered for the supply of goods and services.
Former Youth and Gender PS Lilian Omollo and former NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai are among persons facing charges in connection to the loss of funds. Others are Ms Andrine Grace Nyambura, Catherine Kamuyu, Sarah Murugu, Anthony Makara Wamiti and Peter Wagura Kimari, who have denied fraudulently receiving payments from NYS.
All the suspects denied a charge of conspiracy to commit corruption after they allegedly conspired to defraud the NYS Sh60,598,800.
It is alleged that they committed the offence between April 6, 2016 and April 27, 2017.