Tuesday May 5, 2020 – Former Trade and Industry Minister and the current Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Mukhisa Kituyi, is a worried man.
This is after he was summoned by the Parliamentary Committee over a tender he irregularly approved in which the Government lost Sh 340 million.
According to sources, Kituyi sanctioned the contract, whose budget was Sh 12 million but due to irregularities, it ended up costing in excess of Sh 352.7 million.
Tourism PS, Safina Kwekwe, revealed at the public accounts committee that Tele News Africa an Atlantic Region firm was contracted in 2004 at Sh 12 million by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to offer consultancy services in advertising and promotion of business opportunities in Kenya on behalf of the Government.
Tele News Africa and Atlantic director is one Kwayera according to documents in possession of PAC members.
Documents before the committee revealed that the contract was supposed to end on June 9th 2004, but in unclear circumstances, it was not discontinued with payments irregularly paid.
Since then, the company has still offered advertising over the last 15 years earning Sh 285 million in payments.
To complicate matters, the firm is further demanding Sh 67.7 million in pending bills.
Documents reveal that Kituyi, then the Minister in charge, wrote a letter allowing the company to participate in the controversial third phase of the programme.
When the Tourism Ministry read mischief in the tender, it consulted the Office of the Attorney General informing him of the anomaly in writing.
In its reply to the Ministry’s concern, the AG wrote to the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2011 advising that the contractual amount be paid at a negotiated interest payable.
Surprisingly, the AG’s reply did not touch the controversial second phase of the contract.
The firm went to court to have the Government prevailed upon to honour the contract.
A judgment on July 24th 2012 ordered the Government to pay Sh 110,061,691 which included 26pc interest since April 2004.
Documents show that in July 2013, it was paid Sh 65 million but with interest surging to Sh 245 million as per now.
Committee members are perturbed that the court ruling was not challenged by the Ministry on irregularity grounds.
Committee members want Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission invited to investigate senior Ministry officials that were involved in the deal together with a section of staff in the AG Chambers.
By linking Mukhisa to the scam, his image internationally is being eroded and damaged going by the current position he holds.
His tenure is coming to an end with word that he is using his international connections to bounce back in local politics by going for the presidency.