MPs summon DoD over Sh2.9b defective jets

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

A powerful House committee has ordered the Department of Defence (DoD) to provide all documents explaining how seven defective fighter jets worth Sh2.9 billion were acquired.

The deal that saw the jets being bought from the Royal Jordanian Air Force through government-to-government negotiations in April 2007,  was sealed during the tenure of former Principal Secretary Zachary Mwaura and former Chief of Defence Forces General Jeremiah Kianga.

Among the documents that they are supposed to provide include the minutes approving the transaction, names of tender committee members, the technical acceptance documents and the list of the government officers who took part in the negotiations.

Consequently, the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Opiyo Wandayi has also directed Auditor General Edward Ouko to carry out a special audit on the supply of foodstuff and other consumables at DoD for the financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

The committee gave Ouko 60 days to carry out the audit and table a report to the committee to enable it to continue with its investigations.

At a meeting between the committee and top DoD officers led by  Defence Principal Secretary Torome Saitoti and Vice Chief of Defense Forces Robert Kibochi, the committee also sought to know why DoD used government-to-government procurement mode yet the officers at the department had the capabilities to procure for their own selves.

Wandayi said the old Public Procurement and Disposal Act did not allow government-to-government transactions and therefore demanded an explanation on the exact law that was used for the said transaction.

Suna East MP and Minority Whip Junet Mohammed demanded to know the individuals who took part in the transaction even as he sought to know why the ministry used government-to-govern procurement mode.

But Torome defended the deal saying the National Treasury and the Attorney General were involved in the entire process.

According to him, the procurement was done through government to government because they required certain specifications and that is why they did not opt for open tendering.

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