Uhuru’s niece, KICC board sum­moned over WTO ten­ders

KICC man­age­ment is un­fairly tar­get­ing gullible sup­pli­ers. We are aware es­tab­lished com­pa­nies were paid a long time ago – Cau­cus chair­man John Ibae

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - FELIX OLICK AND JAMES MBAKA @TheS­tarKenya

MPs have sum­moned Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta’s niece Nana Gecaga and the KICC board over al­leged mis­han­dling of multi­bil­lion-shilling ten­ders for the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion meet­ing last December. Gecaga is act­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of KICC.

The de­tails emerged as sup­pli­ers wrote a let­ter to Uhuru seek­ing his in­ter­ven­tion. They said they are in fi­nan­cial ruin, as banks go af­ter their prop­erty. The sup­pli­ers said 200 providers and con­trac­tors are owed more than Sh1.5 bil­lion.

Gecaga was, how­ever, ap­pointed act­ing KICC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor four months af­ter the WTO pro­cure­ment. The law­mak­ers want the board chaired by for­mer South Mu­gi­rango MP Omingo Ma­gara to ex­plain why the man­age­ment is yet to pay sup­pli­ers forthe high-level meet­ing, a year later.

The Par­lia­men­tary Joint Com­mit­tee on Na­tional Co­he­sion and Equal Op­por­tu­nity said the KICC board should ap­pear on Tues­day next week. “This is un­ac­cept­able. The board must ex­plain the cir­cum­stances un­der which money owed to sup­pli­ers is be­ing with­held for more than a year,” com­mit­tee chair­man John­son Sakaja said yes­ter­day.

The board has pre­vi­ously said the ten­der process was fraud­u­lent and prices were in­flated, lead­ing to the can­cel­la­tion of bids.

How­ever, in their let­ter to State House, the sup­pli­ers said the board did not raise any ques­tion on the ten­der process un­til af­ter the WTO meet­ing. One sup­plier said, “The meet­ing could have failed spec­tac­u­larly were it not for our ef­forts.”

Kenya played host to the three-day 10th WTO Min­is­te­rial Con­fer­ence held at the KICC from December 15-18. The pro­cure­ment was marred by in­fight­ing and then KICC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Fred Simiyu was dra­mat­i­cally sacked.

“When they sent the CEO Fred Simiyu pack­ing ac­cus­ing him of not fol­low­ing due process, one won­ders why didn’t the board stop in­no­cent sup­pli­ers from un­der­tak­ing ser­vices they were pro­vid­ing?” the sup­pli­ers wrote to the Pres­i­dent. On Tues­day, a cau­cus of WTO sup­pli­ers told the co­he­sion com­mit­tee their ef­forts to get pay­ments are not forth­com­ing.

Cau­cus chair­man John Ibae said, “KICC is un­fairly tar­get­ing gullible sup­pli­ers. We are aware es­tab­lished com­pa­nies were paid a long time ago.”

/VIC­TOR IMBOTO

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta greets KICC act­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Nana Gecaga on July 18

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