A Tsunami Brewing at Kenya Pipeline Corp.
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A Tsunami is brewing at Kenya Pipeline Corporation. And, it will ravage many people in a wide corruption network that thrives on milking KPC, we can report. The arrest of several senior managers is just the tip of the iceberg. More arrests are expected next week if documents in our possession are anything to go by.
The paper documents the extent of sleaze and outright theft of public resources at KPC. That charges were approved and arrests made hardly a week after the sleuths officially began investigations suggests that the charges were already with the DPP.
The potential arrests include senior government officials, top officials at the corporation, politicians, their relatives, friends, associates, and dummy companies.
Kenya Pipeline Company is a den of iniquity, we can report. Everything unethical takes place at the corporation with impunity- graft, theft and nepotism rule the company. The crimes include employment and promotion of quacks.
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In addition to an alleged loss of 21 million litres of fuel from its stock in mysterious circumstances- which triggered the investigation, the firm is a den of corruption and plunder of public resources. The documents show how Senior officials made a total of Shs 1.9 billion through inflated contract costs and kickbacks for awarding certain contractors jobs. The Theft includes even the Board of Directors and top Officials in the ministry of energy.
According to the document, Corruption at KPC is driven by top officials in the Ministry of energy and in the firm including the Board of Directors and senior management. It has made billionaires of senior officials- both at the company and the Ministry of energy.
Bribes and outright theft runs into billions of shillings every year. And because of this recklessness, the company is a disaster waiting to happen. Employees are not vetted making it a national security threat since criminal gangs and other undesirable characters are feared to have infiltrated this vital cog in the nation’s economic well-being.
The detailed document lists a litany of graft avenues and even names the suspects and lists their phone numbers.
Among the malpractices are corruption in the award of tenders, inflation of contracts in order to get kick-backs, outright theft of funds through unperformed contracts, and poor employment practices. The DCI sleuths have their work cut out of them as the document provides critical leads into the murk. There will be a Tsunami in there, we can predict- It is overdue.
The Managers mint millions through contracts awarded to their friends who in turn reward them with Plots of land in leafy parts of Nairobi, Luxury cars, foreign holidays and millions of shillings in out- of pocket cash to spend during the trip, and outright bribes of cash running into hundreds of millions per head. The money is paid directly to the officers or through a network of relatives, friends and dummy companies. Some of these networks have also mint millions of shillings in these deals.
For instance, the document says, a total of Kshs 1.1 billion was paid out as bribes to senior officials for the Line 5 contract from Mombasa to Nairobi. The payouts saved the contractor, Zakheim International, some Kshs 300 million when the design was changed and also to cover-up inflated prices. The document questions the speed at which the financial evaluation of the winning bid and award of the contract were done.
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In other instances, senior Officials simply raise the price of the contract and share the difference with the contractor. A case in point is the Kisumu Oil Jetty whose price was suddenly raised from Kshs 900 million to Khs 1.7 billion at the orders of senior government officials. For this, they were paid a total of Kshs 410 million in kickbacks. The same officials also pocketed another kshs 158 million from the Sinedet-Kisumu Pipeline which was awarded to a company that was in constant contact with top managers before the tender award. In the case of the installation of Fibre Optic contract, the price was raised by Kshs 200 million of which Shs 154 million was shared between the ministry and KPC senior managers.
All ICT tenders are outright thefts says the document. It says that the alleged “upgrades are never commissioned,” despite having been paid for fully. Instead, the firm’s ICT systems have been compromised by these cosmetic updates designed to cover up the scandals.
It also states that 60 percent of all business given to the Waka Family ends up in the pockets of senior officers at KPC.
The same team made a whopping Kshs 110 million from the purchase of a two-acre piece of land whose price was inflated to Kshs 653 million up from an internal Valuation of Ksh320 million. The officials transferred the valuation of the land to NLC instead of Ministry of Lands and, the document says, some directors of KPC were in contact with NLC valuers.
The document questions the role of some directors in the deal and why an Eldoret based advocate was contracted for the conveyance while there are hundreds in Nairobi who do the job. It also questions why the advocate, who has his own Law firm, was transacting under a different firm.
And to keep their records clean, the officials intimidate or bribe auditors to drop certain queries. The report cites a case in which the team auditing the books for financial years 2015/16-2027/17 were paid Kshs 60 million in addition to other payments in Kind to drop all audit queries. A senior Official also in the OAG was also paid to ask no questions.