House team wants DOD food ten­ders au­dited amid bribery claims

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY DAVID MWERE

A par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee has di­rected Au­di­tor-gen­eral Ed­ward Ouko to con­duct a spe­cial au­dit on the pro­cure­ment of meat and other food­stuffs at the Depart­ment of De­fence and mil­i­tary bar­racks fol­low­ing claims that it is rid­dled with bribery.

The Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee (PAC) wants the au­dit car­ried out for ten­ders given be­tween 2014 to 2017 after a sup­plier, Mr Golicha Omar, com­plained that he was asked for a Sh2 mil­lion bribe.

“I was told to pay the bribe, but when I re­fused, I was told there was no busi­ness,” Mr Omar told the watch­dog com­mit­tee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wan­dayi.

Mr Omar of Sal­gaa butch­ery, noted that he had sup­plied meat to Moi Bar­racks from 1996 to 2009 and de­spite be­ing the low­est bid­der at Sh280 per kilo, El­doret Stan­dard butch­ery got the award at Sh320 per kilo.

“Since the mat­ters raised are weighty, we have di­rected the Au­di­tor-gen­eral to un­der­take a spe­cial au­dit to en­able the com­mit­tee deal with the mat­ter ap­pro­pri­ately,” Mr Wan­dayi said.

Ac­cord­ing to the stand­ing or­ders, Mr Ouko has 60 days within which to con­clude the in­ves­ti­ga­tions and present the re­port to the House for con­sid­er­a­tion.

Se­nior of­fi­cers at the DOD have been ac­cused of abus­ing re­stricted ten­der­ing process to fleece the gov­ern­ment of bil­lions of shillings in the sup­ply of the com­modi­ties.

DOD of­fi­cials have been acussed of us­ing mar­ket sur­vey as a bench­mark to knock­out the low­est bid­ders un­der the pre­text that their bids are too low while at the same time oc­ca­sion­ing the gov­ern­ment to spend huge amounts for goods that would have oth­er­wise been cheap.

Mr Fazal Butt, the di­rec­tor of Jack Right (1982) Ltd has also filed a com­plaint with the House com­mit­tee claim­ing that he was locked out of the 2015 ten­der de­spite quot­ing a price lower than the en­tity that won the award for the sup­ply of 20,100 kilo­grammes of meat at the base.

The probe comes on the heels of gov­ern­ment's fight against cor­rup­tion within pub­lic ser­vice.

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