Ex­posed: Who was paid what by NYS

Ko­bia ad­mits ‘only’ Sh900 mil­lion has been lost, but a data grab from the gov­ern­ment’s fi­nan­cial sys­tem shows the NYS fraud sit­u­a­tion is likely, and fright­en­ingly, worse

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - BY NA­TION TEAM news­desk@ke.na­tion­media.com

High­est earner was paid Sh1.5 bil­lion and the low­est a pal­try Sh22,000

Some of the com­pa­nies that are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion over the pos­si­ble loss of Sh9 bil­lion at the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice have had pre­vi­ous con­tro­ver­sial deal­ings with the out­fit — and have no In­ter­net foot­print.

While they deal in hun­dreds of mil­lions of shillings, only one of the com­pa­nies un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion has a web­site, but, still, it does not list its man­age­ment. The oth­ers, like Firstling Sup­plies Lim­ited and Flag­stone Mer­chants, the two firms that walked away with more than Sh1 bil­lion each in the lat­est NYS scan­dal, re­main largely anony­mous op­er­a­tions.

And, sur­pris­ingly, com­pa­nies flagged by the Au­di­tor-gen­eral and the Ethics and Anti-cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion in the past for pos­si­ble fraud are still do­ing busi­ness with the gov­ern­ment.

Among them is Fast­lane Freight For­warders, which had its ac­counts frozen by the High Court in the wake of “rea­son­able sus­pi­cion” that it had re­ceived Sh209 mil­lion from NYS as re­im­burse­ment for clearing and for­ward­ing costs for equip­ment, even though there was no proof that the ser­vices had been ren­dered.

The court ruled that the min­istry of Pub­lic Ser­vice, Youth and Gen­der Af­fairs had not ten­dered for the pro­vi­sion of such ser­vices dur­ing the 2015-2016 fi­nan­cial year, and no con­tract be­tween the min­istry and (Fast­lane) had been pro­vided as a ba­sis for the pay­ment. In the cur­rent scan­dal, Fast­lane is said to have been paid Sh221 mil­lion.

Firstling Sup­plies Lim­ited, which re­ceived Sh1.48 bil­lion, was also cited in a re­port by the Au­di­tor­gen­eral in 2012, mean­ing it has been do­ing busi­ness with gov­ern­ment bod­ies for years.

The di­rec­tors of the com­pany based at Ukulima Co-op House are James Thuita Nderitu and Yvonne Wan­jiku Ngugi. The firm is also re­lated to Bosqure Sys­tems Lim­ited, which was paid Sh59 mil­lion. The lat­ter has been do­ing busi­ness with some county gov­ern­ments.

Although Mr Nderitu’s con­tact is listed in ten­der doc­u­ments, a man who an­swered the phone yes­ter­day claimed we had di­alled the wrong num­ber and de­nied knowl­edge of the two com­pa­nies, which work closely with Flag­stone Mer­chants, an­other ben­e­fi­ciary of the ques­tion­able NYS trans­ac­tions.

On Linkedin, a Mr Ed­ward Mwangi is listed as the owner of Flag­stone, but when we called, the woman who an­swered the phone said she did not know any­one by that name.

Mom­basa-based Tech­biz Lim­ited, which was ranked 72 on the Busi­ness Daily’s Top 100 list in 2009, is listed as hav­ing re­ceived Sh767 mil­lion. On his Face­book page and Twit­ter han­dle, Mr Faraj Mansur claims to be the co-founder of the com­pany.

“We have not been trans­act­ing with NYS,” a woman who only iden­ti­fied her­self as Swab­rina, and who we were told is the com­pany’s chief ac­coun­tant, said af­ter “con­sult­ing the owner”.

Ms Eu­nice Ngeene of Ex­cella Lim­ited, which is shown to have been paid Sh282 mil­lion, also de­nied do­ing busi­ness with the NYS be­fore dis­miss­ing our en­quiry “Our busi­ness has never worked there. And even if it has, so what? What is the prob­lem? Are you CID?” she posed.

Emaki Ven­tures, which re­ceived Sh39.3 mil­lion, is on the list of sup­pli­ers who sold clean­ing ma­te­ri­als to the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity (Nema) in the 2014-2015 fi­nan­cial year. In­for­ma­tion on its busi­ness premises is not listed on­line, but that of Ensa K Ltd is avail­able, com­plete with a land­line and mo­bile tele­phone num­ber. In the Min­istry of Trans­port por­tal, its ad­dress is listed as Gill House in Nairobi, but in the Nairobi County busi­ness por­tal, it is listed as ‘Nairobi CBD, Tom Mboya Street’.

Ensa, which re­ceived Sh1.9 mil­lion, was pre­qual­i­fied to sup­ply the Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture as a youthowned com­pany. On Linkedin, Ms Es­ther Ototo is listed as one of its di­rec­tors. Un­der the Uhuru Kenyatta regime, com­pa­nies owned by youth, women and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties are of­fered pref­er­en­tial treat­ment to sup­ply 30 per cent of gov­ern­ment ten­ders.

Ensa was con­tracted to sup­ply of­fice equip­ment, sta­tionery and re­lated items. It re­ceived the third

low­est pay­ment from NYS be­tween Septem­ber 2016 and Au­gust 2017. Ed­mand En­ter­prises had the low­est pay­ment (Sh140,000) fol­lowed by Mam­mery Solutions (Sh22,730). Firstling Sup­plies Ltd re­ceived the high­est pay­ment, at Sh1.48 bil­lion, fol­lowed by Flag­stone Mer­chants, which re­ceived Sh1.03 bil­lion.

An on­line direc­tory, Softkenya, gives Firstling Sup­plies Ltd’s ad­dress as Ukulima Co-op­er­a­tive House on Haile Se­lassie Av­enue. In­ter­est­ingly, Bosqure Busi­ness Sys­tems Ltd is listed on Firstling’s Face­book page, which is in­ac­tive and has only one ‘Like’. Bosqure re­ceived Sh59.3 mil­lion from NYS. Be­tween 2014 and 2016.

At the time, Firstling was listed as a pre­qual­i­fied sup­plier of tyres to the gov­ern­ment, but doc­u­ments at the World Bank also show that it bid to sup­ply fenc­ing ma­te­ri­als to Moi In­ter­na­tional Air­port as part of the north­ern cor­ri­dor project in 2004. Its of­fer was re­jected and the ten­der, worth Sh37.4 mil­lion, awarded to West­con Con­trac­tors Lim­ited. On Linkedin, Ed­ward Mwangi claims to be the “owner” of Firstling.

En­sal Kenya Ltd is an­other com­pany linked to the NYS pay­ments. Ac­cord­ing to on­line doc­u­ments, the com­pany is based in Nakuru and is pre­qual­i­fied — as sup­plier num­ber 164 — by Nakuru County Gov­ern­ment. The list is for com­pa­nies that will pro­vide road and civil engi­neer­ing ser­vices in the cur­rent and next fi­nan­cial year, which starts on July 1.

Taken to court by EACC

Era Two Thou­sand En­ter­prises re­ceived Sh273.9 mil­lion from NYS in one of the high­est pay­outs. But, ac­cord­ing to the Kenya Law Re­port, the com­pany was taken to court last year by the Ethics and Anti-cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion and a pri­vate firm, Sale Su­per­stores.

The case was filed un­der miscellaneous ap­pli­ca­tion num­ber 67 of 2017 and sought to freeze the trans­fer of money from the com­pany’s ac­count at Bar­clays Bank, Queensway Branch in Nairobi.

Era Two Thou­sand was listed as the sec­ond re­spon­dent while a Mr Evan­son Thuo Waweru was the first. The case was filed in the An­ticor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Crimes Divi­sion of the High Court, which gave the or­ders sought in Oc­to­ber last year.

An­other com­pany, Ev­er­green En­ter­prises Ltd, re­ceived Sh70.5 mil­lion from NYS. On­line records in­di­cate the com­pany is a pre­qual­i­fied sup­plier for the pro­duc­tion and sup­ply of branded pro­mo­tional ma­te­ri­als. It is among the pre­qual­i­fied sup­pli­ers for Mag­i­cal Kenya, which is run by Brand Kenya.

Evertec Gen­eral Trad­ing Com­pany Ltd, which re­ceived Sh68.7 mil­lion, is listed as the tenth com­pany in the NYS dossier. It has a Face­book page, but this re­mains in­ac­tive, although the iden­tity of its marketer is also avail­able on Linkedin.

In­ter­scope Tech and Ser­vices, which re­ceived Sh176 mil­lion of the NYS money, is also cited in the Au­di­tor-gen­eral’s re­port of 2012, in­di­cat­ing it has had pre­vi­ous deal­ings with the gov­ern­ment.

The at NYS appear to be Nje­w­anga En­ter­prises (Sh80 mil­lion), Ngi­waco En­ter­prises (Sh117 mil­lion), Ngirispa En­ter­prises (Sh18 mil­lion) and Smart Va­ri­ety Stores (Sh153 mil­lion).

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A pass out pa­rade for Na­tional Youth Ser­vice re­cruits in 2017

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