Parliamentary committee: Team links PS to firm in pads scandal

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 00:00 | By
Education PS Belio Kipsang (left) with his senior principal Finance officer Robert Osano and head of supplies Regina Kanyi when they appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday. Photo/PD/Kenna CLAUDE

A parliamentary committee on Monday ordered Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang to provide ownership details of a company involved in a sanitary towels tender that is allegedly linked to him.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, gave Kipsang up to Friday to forward details of  Konyipad Construction, which shares an addresses with the firm linked to him.

According to documents submitted to the committee, Konyipad was awarded a Sh23.8 million tender to supply sanitary towels despite the lowest bidder having quoted Sh19.9 million thus leading to a loss of Sh3.9 million.

Wandayi asked Kipsang to ensure all details of the two companies have been submitted to the committee members for scrutiny to enable them to make an informed decision before writing a final report.

“My final orders are that you submit a list of Konyipad Construction directors to this committee by Friday this week,” he said.

The order came after Mavoko MP Patrick Makau sought to know why a company known as Belion Hardware and Building Constructors, that is allegedly linked to Kipsang, shares the same address and box numbers with Konyipad Construction that was awarded the contract.

“How come two companies— Konyipad Construction and Belion Hardware and Building Constructors— share the same addresses and box numbers yet one of them won the tender?” he posed.

PAC, which was scrutinising Auditor General Edward Ouko’s report for the financial year 2016/17 also sought to know how companies dealing in the construction industry were awarded tender at the expense of companies in hospitality industry.

Pre-determined needs

Further, the members sought to know how a company named Triple N that had the lowest bids in five slots was only awarded one slot as the rest were given to six other companies that bid the highest amounts.

“Why would a construction company supply sanitary towels.  For example if the Ministry of Education asks for books we expect companies dealing with that to supply the books and not some construction companies,” said Makau. 

Tongren MP Eseli Simiyu said it was evident the tender was structured to meet certain pre-determined needs and leave out the people who ought to have benefitted, after his constituency missed out in the final list of beneficiaries.

Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang’ sought to know whether the ministry carried out due diligence before awarding the tender.

In response, Kipsang defended the tender saying although Triple N was the lowest bidder in five slots they could only be awarded one lot, which was the most economically advantageous based on the highest quantity of a given lot.

Ouko’s report shows the Education department gave six companies tenders worth Sh202.9 million against companies that had the lowest bids at Sh177.7 million thus leading to a loss of Sh25.2 million.

Awarded lot

Apart from Konyipad, the other five companies mentioned in the matter are Nexhom Africa that was given a tender of Sh23.3 million, Paula Services (Sh50 million), Rossaby Enterprises (Sh49.5 million), Imani Holdings (Sh32.1 million), and Hassib Investments (Sh23.9 million).

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