In January this year the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) instituted changes in its management amid corruption claims in awarding tenders for construction of roads.
The Roads Civil Engineering and Construction Association petitioned the government to probe alleged bribery in awarding of tenders to local contractors.
Apparently they claimed, dubious KeNHA executives were awarding tenders to lowest bidders after receiving hefty bribes.
Fast forward to April, Kahawa Tungu has learnt that there is looming corruption at the KeNHA weighbridges through the supply and Installation of a substandard weighing software without due procurement procedures as is required by Law.
According to a letter seen by Kahawa Tungu addressed to the DCI and EACC, in October last year, the authority advertised tenders for Management, Operations and Maintenance of Weighbridges with a clear instruction that all bidders were expected to use a KenLOAD weighing software.
The existing software has been in use for six years and is about to be phased out with the new one named KeNLOAD.
In the dossier, the source notes that the authority did not welcome interested bidders to supply and install the new weighbridge software.
Instead, the three year Sh514 million tender was awarded to Avery East Africa (AEA) Limited. The award was facilitated by KeNHA Director of ICT who is said to have received a hefty bribe beforehand.
We have also learnt that the substandard software has already been installed at some weighbridges and has failed to work with the existing infrastructure since little or no due diligence was done.
KeNHA has also allegedly worked out a plan with AEA Limited’s MD Nicholus Kithinji on how to handle the situation.
“…This will see them get a Lion Share for Installations of Virtual Weighbridges which could be Split between AEA and Techpool Limited – Techpool Limited is Owned by AEA MD’s Brother and is Sub-contracted by AEA for all its Supply and Installations Works,” the source intimated.
There was a dispute among the authority officials when word got around that AEA had paid a lump sum for the tender. The problem, this writer has learnt was that some of the engineers did not a get a share of the money.
This led to the cancellation of the 2nd Phase of Supply and Installation of Virtual Weighbridges tender.
The anonymous source also indicated that KeNHA Engineers have been promised a maiden trip to European countries where the deal will be agreed and implementation done locally after the award of the Virtual Weighbridge Tender to AEA Limited and Techpool Limited.
Last week however, KeNHA Deputy Director Road Asset and Corridor Management Muita Ngatia told Financial Standard that virtual stations are cost-effective, help with the protection of roads from premature damage caused by overloading and are also protecting the freight businesses from unfair competition caused by overloaders.
In November 2018, Kahawa Tungu’s investigative desk reported that KeNHA CEO Engineer Peter Mundinia and Chairman Engineer Erastus Mwongera have made it a defacto policy that every foreigner bidding for a contract advertised by KENHA has to pay Ksh 100 million in bribes in foreign denominations.
Kenyan companies willing to be considered for any contracts at the authority have to part with not less than KSh10 million in cash.
The monies, it was reported are collected at strategic locations by Engineer Njuguna Gatitu who is the executive in charge of Road Asset and Corridor Maintenance.
The corrupt networks within KENHA were reportedly in direct contact with CS Transport James Macharia who is said to have received kickbacks through indirect links.