The Kilifi County Government is at pains to explain how it processed a Sh200 million tender for purchase of Sports equipment for the Governor’s Cup football cup launched in October.
Over Sh200 million is estimated to have been lost in the tournament.
The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) acting on a public complaint wrote to the county in a letter dated 24th November requesting details of processing of the tender under the Kilifi Department of Sports and Youth affairs.
The letter was directed to the County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning Raymond Ngala.
We have received a complaint letter dated 22nd November, 2023 relating to the processing of the tender for purchase of Sports equipment for the Governor’s Cup -County Government of Kilifi Department of Sports and Youth Affairs,” the letter reads.
“IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 34 OF THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND ASSET DISPOSAL ACT, 2015, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE AND EXPLANATION ON THE STATUS OF THE CONTRACT (S) CITED ABOVE, IF ANY UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES YOU HAVE PROCESSED THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT PROCESS BY FOLLOWING DOCUMENT,” IT FURTHER READS.
The authority requested for the approved budget for the financial year 2022/2023 with a procurement plan for the same, purchase requisition, tender invitation notice, a blank copy of the tender documents as issued to the bidders and appointment letters to the tender committee.
Other documents requested were copy of the evaluation committee report, practising licence of head of procurement and all the procurement professionals, contract agreements among others.
In its response dated 1st December 2023 the County denied having any such tender
“WE ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER REFERENCED PPRA/DG/3/10 VOL.III DATED 24TH NOVEMBER 2023. WE WISH TO RESPOND AND STATE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE A TENDER FOR PURCHASE OF SPORTS OF SPORTS EQUIPMENT FOR THE GOVERNOR’S CUP AS STATED,” THE RESPONSE FROM THE FINANCE CECM READ.
The county promised to cooperate and assist the authority in its investigations.
However, the authority hit back in another response dated 4th December, 2023 with detailed information indicating specific tender details.
However, this authority has information that the subject procurement was conducted by your procuring entity processed tenders for supply and delivery of branded Sports Kits Tender Number No.KCG/GCSS/ 1240244-2022/2023 and 1247713-2022/2023.
The authority having read the response ordered for investigations.
“IN THAT REGARD,AN IN EXERCISE OF THE POWERS CONFERRED TO ME BY SECTION 35(1) OF THE ACT I HAVE APPOINTED A TEAM OF OFFICERS FROM THE AUTHORITY AS INVESTIGATIVE IN THE SUBJECT MATTER,” THE AUTHORITY WROTE.
Governor Gideon Munga’ro launched the mega football tournament that attracted 245 teams.
In a bid to harness the talents of the youth, Governor Munga’ro emphasized that over 5,000 participants from various football clubs would partake in the tournament, competing at the ward and county levels, insisting that their talents will not go wasted and his administration is committed to rewarding raw talents with employment opportunities.
However, the PPPR is suspecting the county did not follow the procurement laws in the tender awards for supply of the sports kits and other equipment.
The complainant has raised issued of nepotism and favouritism.
According to our investigations and insider sources, the CECM Sports and culture Dr.Ruth Masha is a cousin to Mung’aro and daughter to the late Eng. Masha of Kenya Ports Authority.
Shockingl , the CECM Finance is blood brother to the clerk of the County Assembly of Kilifi Michael Bidii Ngalla who is also deeply involved.
In the scheme to defraud the county,the cartel allocated Ksh 5million per ward across all the 35 wards.
This means that the county used Sh.175 million despite having quoted Sh200 million.
The PPRA is concerned by the fact that the County Assembly Head of procurement is also the Acting Head of Procurement and is the one who was the pivot control in the scheme.
Governor Mung’aro who is aware of what is happening is said to be working hard not to allow the matter hit headlines but the PPRA has insisted all full accountability.
The PPRA had listed Kilifi as one of the counties flouting procurement procedures in a July 2023 circular to all public entities.
It warned all procurement and accounting officers in public institutions against using complex systems of bidding to lock out small and upcoming professionals from the tendering process.
It asked accounting officers and those in charge of procurement to uphold the requirements of Section 3 of Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015.
PPRA has been receiving complaints from professional bodies whose members are interested in tendering for public procurement opportunities.
Kilifi County’s finance department has for long been at the centre stage of controversy with the department becoming a common go-to place for anti-graft agencies.
While the Governor moved the former finance CECM Yaye Shoshi and brought in Ngala, the county seems to be still at the centre of many corruption allegations.
The county was once at the centre of Ksh 400 million scandal in cash meant for drought mitigation programs which was allegedly looted through the authorship of the former finance CECM.
There have been questions as to why Governor Mung’aro moved her to the Public Service and Disaster Management docket despite the numerous allegations against her.
“IT MIGHT BE THE REASON WHY SHE WAS REASSIGNED TO THE DISASTER MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT TO SEAL LOOPHOLES IN CASE OF ANY INVESTIGATION THAT MIGHT BE PICKED UP BY EACC OR DCI,” THE LEGISLATOR ADDED.
Early this year, a section of MCAs expressed their dissatisfaction with irregular award of tenders,low revenue collections and slow pace of development projects in the county.
They raised concerns on the rate at which companies are awarded tenders irregularly with no caution.
On the current scandal the investigators are pursuing, inspecting and perusing relevant documents that may assist in unmasking the truth.p