Shollei innocent, ten­der was not ir­reg­u­lar – wit­nesses

For­mer staffer says the Chief Regis­trar and seven se­nior ju­di­ciary of­fi­cials did not meet to con­spire to au­tho­rise any ir­reg­u­lar­ity in the con­tract award

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - ALPHONCE MUNG’AHU @TheS­tarKenya

The ten­der for the con­struc­tion of the Ma­voko law courts was done ac­cord­ing to the pro­cure­ment laws, a Nairobi court heard yes­ter­day.

A wit­ness de­fended for­mer Chief Regis­trar of the Ju­di­ciary Gla­dys Shollei and seven oth­ers fac­ing charges, say­ing they were not part of the ten­der eval­u­a­tion com­mit­tee.

Brid­get Chep­ke­moi, a for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tor in Shollei’s of­fice, told trial mag­is­trate Liz Gicheha there were no ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the en­tire process.

She said none of the ac­cused per­sons was part of the eval­u­a­tion com­mit­tee where Tim­sales Ltd and Economic Hous­ing Group Ltd were taken to the next stage of fi­nan­cial eval­u­a­tion.

The two com­pa­nies were con­tracted to pre-fab­ri­cate the courts at a cost of Sh150 mil­lion.

It also emerged that the land where the Ma­voko law courts were to be es­tab­lished did not be­long to the ju­di­ciary af­ter Tim­sales had been awarded the con­tract and started build­ing a pre-fab­ri­cated court.

The wit­ness said that since there was no land avail­able in Ma­voko, the ju­di­ciary rerouted the re­sources to the Run­yen­jes law courts.

Chep­ke­moi de­nied that the ten­der was in­flu­enced at any stage. “The ac­cused per­sons had never met to con­spire any­thing,” she said.

She says the ac­cused did not com­mit any of­fence by au­tho­ris­ing the pay­ments of 50 per cent ad­vance pay­ment amount­ing to Sh150 mil­lion to Tim­sales since it was in ac­cor­dance with the ten­der­ing com­mit­tee ap­proval.

The court heard that the two com­pa­nies awarded the con­tract were re­quired to de­posit a Sh150 mil­lion bank guar­an­tee at CFC Bank to pre­vent the ju­di­ciary from los­ing cash if the com­pa­nies failed to de­liver the ser­vices.

Pro­cure­ment ex­pert Ones­mus Nzomo said there was no ir­reg­u­lar­ity in the ten­der process. He said he pre­pared the ten­der open­ing form in which he listed the names of 13 bid firms.

Nzomo said he was ap­pointed as a ten­der open­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber by Shollei on Novem­ber 20, 2012.

Dur­ing his three years in the ju­di­ciary, he did not come across any­thing ir­reg­u­lar in the ten­der process, he said.

Shollei and seven se­nior ju­di­ciary of­fi­cials are charged with abuse of of­fice re­lat­ing to con­struc­tion of the Ma­voko law courts. The oth­ers are for­mer deputy regis­trar Kaikai Kissinger, Martin Ok­wata, Bene­dict Omollo, Ni­cholas Ok­wemwa, Ni­cholas Mbeba, Thomas Atak and Wy­cliff Obunde.

They are ac­cused of in­creas­ing the ad­vance down­pay­ment for con­struc­tion of the court build­ings from 10 per cent to 50 per cent with­out the ap­proval of the ten­der com­mit­tee. They have de­nied the charges. The hear­ing con­tin­ues to­day.

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