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KeRRA Boss Kandie On The Spot In Sh1B Overquoted Tender

The complainant in the letter allege that there’s a scheme to flout the set procurement laws by irregularly awarding the contracts to under qualified companies pointing at a major corruption scandal.

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Director General of the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) Philemon Kiprop Kandie has found himself in a tight spot in a multibillion road construction tender row against rivaling Chinese firms.

In a complaint lodged with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) the Road authority is accused of procurement fraud in which a road upgrading tender has been awarded to a firm that had placed the highest bid price thereby shortchanging a firm that had bid lowest.

The procurement regulator says the tender was irregularly awarded to M/s Shengli Engineering Construction with a total bid amount of Sh4,692,818,332 instead of M/s Guanxi Hydroelectric that had the lowest bid amount of Sh 3,964,406,845 as per the regulations.

“All this was done in a conspiracy meant to make sure that the qualification criteria fit the qualifications of particular bidders. This conspiracy was hatched and executed by a criminal enterprise consisting of corrupt KeRRA members of staff,” PPRA warned.

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The authority further warned: “The procurement process of these subject tenders is nothing more than a scheme to defraud Kenyan taxpayers through a well calculated conspiracy to defraud in collusion with politically connected individuals as demonstrated below.”

In the letter obtained by Kenya Insights, one of the firms contesting the tender award claim that it was over quoted by Sh. 1 billion, “KERRA intends to award any of the said projects to the highest bidder, most especially in RWC 652 where it is alleged that a decision has been made to a w a r d the highest bidder where the difference in tender sums exceeds Kshs 1,000,000,000 (one billion Kenya shillings),” it reads in part.

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“Other than oneof the bidders whose financial bid in Tender No. RWC 652 was below the engineer’s estimate, all the other bidders who submitted their
financial bids in the other tenders had financial estimates which were way above the budgets of the projects by over Kshs 1,000,000,000 (one billion Kenya shillings),” it states.

The complainant in the letter allege that there’s a scheme to flout the set procurement laws by irregularly awarding the contracts to under qualified companies pointing at a major corruption scandal.

“The Complainant is aware that KERRA has made or is about to make an award to a bidder who had the highest financial bid and not the one with the lowest financial bid as provided under Sections 83 and 86 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act (“the Act”) and Article 227 of the Constitution of Kenya,”

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Screenshots of the grapevine in Sunday Nation.

Screenshots of the grapevine as reported in the Sunday Nation.

Kenya Insights investigations has established that the contested multibillion tenders are for the completion of stalled road projects being retendered as detailed below under Roads 10,000 Program in 2023/2024 to be financed by the Government of Kenya through the Development Vote as per an advertisement notice.

PPRA warning

In a follow up letter to the roads agency dated 26th March, PPRA stated that they had received additional information regarding the tender and warned him against taking any action until the matter is conclusively heard and settled.

“We further remind you that as an Accounting Officer you have a duty to safeguard public resources and therefore any action taken on the tenders should not result to loss of public funds and should adhere to provisions of Article 227(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.” The later warns.

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High powers

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While PPRA is investigating the matter, local grapevines have it that the boisterous DG has dismissed the authority’s probe saying the deal is done and will go as planed.

Kenya Insights has learned that Kandie has been bragging to those who care to listen that the tender has already been awarded to a Chinese company further claiming it has the blessings of President William Ruto and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen.

Kandie’s stay in office has been marred with controversy and was dragged to court in last year. The high powers have been trying to protect him for reasons best known to them.

Kandie was removed from his position in late May 2023 after Employment and Labour Court judge James Rika ruled that the process was marred by illegalities and procedural impropriety.

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