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