Bribery Claim Rocks City Hall In Ksh. 47 Billion Dandora Dumpsite Tender

By The Weekly Vision Team

Top City Hall officials allegedly received bribes to push for the fraudulent award of a multi-billion-shilling tender for the relocation of the Dandora dump site. Investigations reveal that the officials in Nairobi City County’s Department of Environment pushed for the signing of tender No. NCC/ENV/RFP/287/2022-2023 (design, finance, build, operate, maintain, and transfer) for a ‘waste to energy’ processing plant at Dandora dumpsite after gifts exchanged hands.

According to sources well versed in the matter, the entire process was marred with bias, irregularities, predisposition, falsity, and subjectiveness to the extent that only one company was left at the evaluation stage. The notification of intention to enter into a joint venture dated July 25, 2023 (NCC/RM/VOL.358/ITEM.NO.01/287/2022-2023) addressed to M/S China National Electric Engineering Company Limited was signed by Ibrahim Otieno (Chief Officer of Environment). According to documents in our possession, the tender was controversially awarded to M/S China National Electric Engineering Company Limited for a sum of Ksh. 47,085,300,000 (forty-seven billion, eighty-five million, and three hundred thousand). Shockingly, it has been discovered that the tender amount was inflated, as the tender amount in the previous Ruai tender, which was relied upon in this tender, was Ksh. 21,000,000,000, way above the budget estimates, and contravenes Section 53(8) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act.

Following the release of the letter of intention to award the controversial tender, Enercon Energy Consultants Limited filed for a review at the Public Procurement Administrative Board (PPAB), claiming that the entire procurement process was a fraud and should be investigated. However, the PPAB dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the request for review was not properly filed before the board.

Nairobi City County only sent requests for proposals to 18 firms, and during the tender opening, only three firms had submitted their proposals. During the session, two companies trading as M/S Consortium of China Energy International Group Co. Ltd. and China Tianying Inc. were disqualified under unclear circumstances.

Sensing that the Nairobi City County tender committee had predetermined the tender winner, Enercon Energy Consultants Ltd. withdrew their bid before the evaluation was done based on perceived bias by the committee. This left only one company, M/S China National Electric Engineering Company Limited, for evaluation.

It was noted that the entire procurement was undertaken, even though the process contravened Section 116 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act by using the “Request for Proposal” method, which is limited only to the procurement of services reserved for advisory or predominantly intellectual nature.

It has also been discovered that the entire tender process was carried out in contravention of Article 227 (public participation), as no public participation was conducted with respect to this tender process as the Nairobi City County only relied on the feasibility study conducted by KenGEN and NMS with respect to the Ruai Dumpsite project.

Further, there were claims of bias and corruption that made the whole procurement process illegal and unprocedural following revelations that Mr Kimanzi of Nairobi City County, who was a member of the tender and evaluation committee, displayed bias in that he accepted and received a pen as a gift from a Chinese national who was a representative of M/S China National Electric Engineering Company Limited.

This can be proved through CCTV footage recorded during the tender opening between noon and 12.30 p.m. This is in contravention of Section 66(5) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act.

There are calls that action should be taken against Mr Kiamnzi and all the NCC officers involved in manipulating the tender process with a view to achieving a predetermined winner of the bid. This was also a pure case of conflict of interest, contrary to the mandatory provisions of Section 66(1) of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015.

Further, the controversial tender was awarded despite the express disapproval by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority via a letter dated June 25, 2021, whereby height approval was not approved as the site falls directly within the flight path. It has also been noted that the tender was awarded despite an existing and active court order ordering Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) through Constitutional Petition No. 43 of 2019, and a judgment was made on July 25, 2023.

The judgment reads, “The Nairobi Metropolitan Services is directed to take steps to decommission the Dandora dumpsite and relocate it to another site within six months of the date of this judgment. The Nairobi Metropolitan Services shall shut down the Dandora dumpsite within six months of the date of this judgment and rehabilitate the dumpsite.

However, despite the above orders, Nairobi City County, despite all the concerns raised, went ahead to award the tender. This is a clear case of contempt of court. The court, in her wisdom, ordered the relocation of the dumpsite, but NCC officials have ignored it.

The accounting officer, who is the Chief Officer for Environment, Ibrahim Otieno, fully aware that this was not a lawful project, went on with an inflated cost and approved the procurement process instead of decommissioning and rehabilitating the Dandora dumpsite as ordered by the court.