Ques­tions over Sh3bn de­fec­tive jets

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SPORT - BY DAVID MWERE

A Na­tional As­sem­bly com­mit­tee wants the Min­istry of De­fence to ex­plain how it spent Sh2.9 bil­lion to buy old and de­fec­tive fighter jets, and spare parts.

This comes after Au­di­tor-gen­eral Ed­ward Ouko ques­tioned the deal. Mr Ouko, in his 2015/16 re­port, says the pro­cure­ment of seven junk fighter jets from Royal Jor­da­nian Air Force at Sh1.6 bil­lion was sealed through a gov­ern­ment-to-gov­ern­ment deal in April 2007, when Mr Zachary Mwaura was the Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary.

In­ter­est­ingly, the planes have never been flown since they ar­rived in the coun­try. In­stead, they have been used as spare parts. The re­port has also ques­tioned the Sh1.3 bil­lion in­curred in the pro­cure­ment of spare parts through re­stricted ten­der­ing from a com­pany rather than get­ting them di­rectly from the air­craft man­u­fac­turer.

When he ap­peared be­fore the Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee, De­fence PS Torome Saitoti failed to prop­erly ex­plain the mode of pro­cure­ment.

When the com­mit­tee sought to know why the air­craft had never been flown since their de­liv­ery, Mr Saitoti asked for the mat­ter to be “in­ter­ro­gated away from the glare of the me­dia, owing to its sen­si­tiv­ity”.

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