Kitui County officers in Court over irregular procurement

Written By: Hunja Macharia
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Two senior procurement officers from Kitui County have been charged with irregular procurement of five trucks for transporting livestock and abuse of office by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

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The two, acting Trade and Cooperatives Chief Officer Francis Kyalo Kea and Head of Supply Chain Management Joshua Kalola Munyaka were charged Tuesday with five counts of flouting procurement laws and abuse of office while awarding the multi-million tender to Thika Motor Dealers Ltd.

According to the particulars of the charge sheet, the duo awarded a tender without prior budgetary allocation or procurement plan, failed to invite at least 10 firms from the list of pre-qualified bidders, and entered into a contract with Thika Motor Dealers Ltd before the lapse of stipulated 14 days after the notification award.

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The court heard that the officers allegedly committed the economic crimes on diverse dates between January 2, 2018 and December 30, 2018.

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The prosecution requested that the officers be released on stringent bond terms as they have been on the run since January 9 when ODPP gave EACC the green light to charge them.

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The two were arrested on Monday after surrendering to the anti-graft detective at the Integrity Centre in Nairobi.

Kitui Chief Magistrate Stephen Mbungi ordered that Kea be released on a bond of Ksh 3 million plus a surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Ksh 1 million and Munyaka on Ksh 1 million bond with a similar surety or Ksh 500,000 cash bail.

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The accused officers were also barred from accessing County Government offices pending trial and determination of the graft case facing them.

The case will be mentioned on February 12, 2020 for a pre-trial conference.

This comes barely a week after three other top County Government officers were arrested and charged in court by the EACC over irregular awarding of road tenders worth over Ksh 890 million.

June Mawia Munyao, Jeremiah Nguli Kisilu and Rogers Makau Sande, however, pleaded not guilty to flouting procurement laws.

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