Three Kenya Pipeline Company officials have been sent on leave to pave the way for investigations into irregular issuing of multi-million tenders at the state-owned agency.
KPC Managing Director Joe Sang on Tuesday said the three were suspended on Monday as investigators review tenders worth Sh58.8 billion.
General Manager Finance Samwel Odoyo, Procurement Manager Nicholas Gatobu and a specialist welder, Amina Juma, have been sent on leave over irregular purchase of airplane fuelling kits at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for Sh655 million.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is probing claims that the contract was inflated and possibility of collusion between KPC and the briefcase firm offered the multi-million shilling tender inked in 2015 and whose tendering started in 2014.
“The allegations of a loss of Sh655 million are not true. Other than the initial 40 per cent of the contract sum of $2,563,796 (Sh259 million) paid via a letter of credit dated March 3, 2015, no further sum has been paid by KPC,” Mr Sang told a Press briefing on Tuesday.
A document seen by the Business Daily also shows that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations is reviewing 30 tenders worth Sh55.8 billion issued by KPC in recent years.
The investigators want to establish whether some of the tenders were irregular and led to loss of taxpayers’ money.
The tenders include Sh48 billion for a new pipeline from Mombasa to Nairobi, the Sh2.1 billion Sinendet–Kisumu pipeline, and the Sh1.7 billion Kisumu oil jetty.
Sleuths are also probing the KPC board’s expenses including bonuses, sitting and travel perks that stood at Sh61 million in the year to last June. Excessive expenditure by board members in meetings gobbled up Sh20 million in 2015.
This comes amid a crackdown on graft in the public service that has seen dozens of officials and business people detained for alleged theft of about Sh8 billion at the National Youth Service.
A probe of fraudulent payment of nearly Sh2 billion to unscrupulous traders at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is also ongoing.
On the fuelling pit valves, the kits were delivered to KPC within three months in a tender issued through direct procurement and without justification for purchase.
Investigators reckon that the kits were delivery in record time given that it takes up to six months for such orders to be manufactured and materials shipped.
The firm delivered the valves with no documentation showing a pre-shipment order or bill of lading, which show the purchase trail from acquisition overseas to delivery at KPC. KPC rejected the valves.
The valves and spares are at KPC stores and cannot be used since they are subject to investigations, translating to loss of hundreds of millions of shillings.