Son of former president Daniel Moi Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and a chairman of Kenyatta-owned bank NCBA Mr. James Ndegwa are among high-ranking officials who have been questioned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over the mega scandal involving irregular award of lucrative tenders by the Daniel Manduku led Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
Moi was on Wednesday questioned at the DCI Headquarters while in the company of his lawyers.
NCBA Chairman James Ndegwa, a business partner of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family, has also been grilled in connection with the high-profile scam.
Moi and Ndegwa were reported to have been guests at the DCI’s Economic Crimes Department to shed more light on how a company he owns alongside others, was awarded a tender without submitting a tender bid.
In 2018, KPA floated a tender seeking two companies that can cumulatively provide storage for an extra 6,000 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers. At least 30 companies applied for the lucrative tender.
The tender was ultimately awarded to Mitchel Cotts and Nairobi Inland Cargo Terminal (NICT) which investigators believe had not submitted tender documents as per the law.
The peripheral cargo storage facilities at Embakasi in Nairobi were meant to store cargo which had overstayed at the ICD, reported to be a total of over 30,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) containers at that time. The move is suspected to have been artificially instigated to rekindle hopes of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), whose cargo transportation business was not doing so well.
It is reported that after the decree was issued, container traffic on the SGR shot up by four times. The ICD could only handle 15,000 TEUs, hence this created another avenue for cartels to loot through construction of the peripheral cargo storage facilities. In order to address the congestion issue, KPA was allowed to lease Periphery Storage Facilities (PSFs) outside the ICD. Despite not being among the 30 companies that tendered for the contracts, Mitchel Cotts won the tender alongside Nairobi Inland Cargo Terminal, a company linked to little known Mr John Katiku.
Both Senator Moi and Ndegwa have shares in multiple layers of companies that own Mitchell Cotts – alongside Joshua Kulei, and other shadowy Kanu-era power brokers.
Others who have interests in the company include the widow of former Interior Minister George Saitoti and the family of former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae.
NICT, on the other hand is owned by a company in which Philip Obandah Arunga has majority shares.
Arungah spent the whole of Wednesday answering questions from the DCI sleuths.
KPA MD Daniel Manduku has a court case for irregularly awarding Ksh2.7 billion contracts to certain firms some of which didn’t complete ther
An investigations file by the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit of the DCI suggested that Manduku oversaw the preparation of bills of quantity for eight firms without requisition forms from the user — the inland container depot in Nairobi for the Makongeni Goodshed Yard project.
Manduku, KPA General Manager in charge of Operations William Rutto, Senior Works Officer Anthony Muhanji, Works Officer Juma Chigulu and Principal Works Officer Bernard Nyobange are said to have colluded to divide the 2100 square meters yard belonging to Kenya Railways into 9 zones and awarded 8 contractors the concrete works.
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