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PS grilled over expenditure of Sh350m in athletics meet

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

Members of Parliament yesterday questioned how the Sports ministry procured goods and services  worth Sh350 million through single sourcing instead of competitive bidding during the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Under 18 World Championships held in Nairobi in July last year.

The MPs wanted to know why the money was approved by the Local Organising committee (LOC) without Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia approving the expenditure, after a senior supplies official in the ministry, who was the head of procurement of the LOC Duncan Ashumbwe, told  MPs that he did not take part in the transactions.

Ashumbwe told  the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that he did not authorise the payments as he was away in Madrid, Spain to check on field tracks that were to be used during the event.

When he appeared before the committee chaired by Opiyo Wandayi together with Kaberia yesterday, Ashumbwe said that during his visit to Madrid he did not leave anyone in acting capacity, hence the approval was done without his consent.

“I had travelled to Madrid to check on field tracks that were to be used but I never authorised anyone to act on my behalf,” said Ashumbwe.

Of the Sh350 million paid, Sh71.8 million was paid to Windsor hotel, Safari Park and Kasarani Sports View hotels, as they were IAAf identified hotels, while another Sh145.3 million was paid to Safaricom, Sarova Hotel and Parapet Limited.

The committee directed the Ministry to provide it with details of guests accommodated by the hotels, on grounds that the facilities might have been used as conduits to steal public funds.

Kaberia, who appeared before the committee to explain how the ministry spent over Sh1.7 billion in the  event, confirmed that single sourcing and direct procurement was used to obtain urgent requirements that were critical to the success of the event.

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