By The Weekly Vision
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga could soon face sleuths from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Senate to clear the air over claims that multi-million tenders were fraudulently awarded to his loyalists. The second-term Governor, a close ally of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has of late been known to throw salvos at some unnamed State House officials he claimed are trying to portray a wrong picture of the DP.
He went further to claim that the Mount Kenya region had a choice to re-think its position in Kenya Kwanza if it was taken for granted. The statements, sources say have not gone down well with operatives at State House who now believe it is high time the governor is tamed. And even before the dust could settle, there were calls that the governor should be investigated over how several tenders were awarded under his watch.
But the Governor’s allies now believe that he is being witch-hunted over his calls to have Mount Kenya respected in the Kenya Kwanza Coalition. The governor could face an investigation on alleged irregular expenditure on motor vehicle repairs amounting to Ksh. 19,869,170. Reports indicate that a whopping Ksh. 433,980 was paid to a service provider for the repair of a single motor vehicle.
Procurement details indicated that the service provider was single-sourced and did not meet the conditions of direct procurement as set out in Section 103(2) Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015. The Act states that a procuring entity may use direct procurement if any of the following are satisfied; the goods, works or services are available only from a particular supplier/contractor, or a particular supplier or contractor has exclusive rights in respect of the goods, works or services and no reasonable alternative exists.
Another tender under investigation is the procurement of hospital beds where investigations reveal that Ksh. 5,440,000 was paid to a supplier for 130 pieces of 2 crank hospital beds and 30 ripple mattresses. Anomalies were noted with the procurement process: The delivery of the items was on 17th March 2021. Audit verification was carried out on 3rd November 2021 and a review of ledger cards provided for audit revealed that all the 130 pieces of 2 crank hospital beds and 10 of the 30 ripple mattresses cost a total of Ksh. 800,000 had never been used. The hospital added 5 crank hospital beds on 14th October 2021 as per ledger cards without utilizing the previously procured beds. Although the governor’s administration claims that the items were for the Narumoru Hospital which was awaiting completion, the contract signed or tender given did not specify whether the items were for the Narumoru Hospital.
Further, the executive approved an expenditure of Ksh.68,458,530 for fuel, oil and lubricants. However, the supplier fuel statements for the period 1st July 2020 to 30th June 2021 reflected consumption of Ksh. 33,399,144 whereas the corresponding fuel consumption records at the County Executive indicated an amount of Ksh. 28,492,392 resulting in an unexplained variance of Ksh. 6,111,409. Further, fuel payments made to a supplier through Internet banking amounted to Ksh. 34,603,802 differing from the fuel statement amount of Ksh. 33,399,144 by an amount of Ksh. 1,204,658. In addition, fuel, oil and lubricants expenditure of Ksh. 3,499,828 was not supported with payment vouchers and supporting documents.