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Waqo Grilled By MPs, Says He Was Introduced To Firm In Kemsa Scandal By Bank Officer

Former EACC boss Halakhe Waqo finally appeared before the Public Investment Committee (PIC) over his ties to a company that bagged a Sh347 million Kemsa tender.

Aszure Commercial Services was founded in 2017 and is registered as a furniture supplies company.

In spite of the inexperience, the firm was awarded a tender to supply the government agency with 50,000 50-pack face masks.

Appearing before the Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir-led committee on Friday, Waqo defended his role in the company saying he was only a loan guarantor.

He told the MPs that he was introduced to the firm by a First Community Bank officer.

Read: Ex-EACC Boss Halakhe Waqo In Trouble After Snubbing Parliamentary Committee Summons Twice

The lender, he said, was comfortable with him guaranteeing the loan as he and the firm shared the same bank.

The multi-million shilling loan was guaranteed by two properties – a 13-acre parcel in Isiolo, and another in Nairobi – which is not registered in his name, Waqo intimated.

Ruaraka MP T.J Kajwang wondered why the former EACC CEO did not cite a letter of reward yet he has worked for the government in the past.

“I would have expected them to show you letter of award much as you won’t be concerned about the nature of procurement. Did you confirm if there was a letter of award?” he posed.

Waqo, on his part, noted that he only came on to support the project financially.

“I didn’t interact beyond the bank. I assumed an organization as big as Kemsa would not skip processes,” he said.

Read Also: Ex-EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo To Be Grilled By MPs Over Sh347 Million Kemsa Tender

Kajwang also sought to find out if Waqo dared to probe “the extent to which the business was clean”.

To this, Waqo replied, “I was a private citizen. I relied on communication between the bank and the entity. I didn’t see any reason to doubt.”

The ex EACC CEO had in the past declined to honour two summons from the committee.

Last week, the committee threatened to issue summons compelling him to appear.

Standing Orders dictate that if a witness snubs summons at least three times, the committee can write to the police to arrest and avail the witness.

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