Taita Taveta -Former Speaker, Clerk In Hot Soup Over Suspicious Laptop Tender Deal

The former Speaker of Taita Taveta County Assembly Meshack Maghanga and the current Clerk Gadiel Maganga may face officers from the anti-corruption commission after it emerged that they may have colluded to award tenders irregularly. Mr Maghanga lost the speaker’s seat to Wisdom Kazungu Mwamburi while the clerk Gadiel Maganga assumed the position in January 2019. The tender fraud was committed in 2021.

According to sources, the two colluded with some procurement officers to award a tender for the supply of laptops valued at Ksh. 2,396,400.  According to the contract, the two approached a vendor to supply 24 laptops to the assembly; however, procurement records indicated that the laptops were bought through Request for Quotations.

The Assembly Clerk Mr. Gadiel Maganga

It has since been discovered that the vendor was not on the list of prequalified suppliers, contrary to the requirements of Section 162(3) of the Public Procurement and 24 Asset Disposal Act, 2015. It is suspected that the Speaker and the Clerk decided to award the tender to a firm which was not pre-qualified and not registered with the assembly to their benefit.

Further, by being the CEO of the assembly, the clerk will also be required to explain why the assembly failed to remit Statutory Deductions. According to records, by 28th October 2021, the County Assembly of Taita/Taveta had defaulted in remitting Ksh. 17,729,960 in pension deductions from its employees to the Local Authority Pension Trust (LAPTRUST).

It is imperative to note that the principal amount outstanding has attracted interest totalling Ksh. 21,586,289, resulting in indebtedness of Ksh. 39,316,249 to LAPTRUST. Had the assembly leadership remitted the deductions in time, taxpayers’ money of Ksh. 21,586,289 could have been saved.

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