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Sang, Kirgotty among 8 arrested over graft

Irene Githnji @gitshee

Five Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and seven National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) senior officials were yesterday arrested over Sh2 billion and Sh1 billion scandals, respectively.

KPC managing director Joe Sang, Company Secretary Gloria Khafafa, Samuel Odoyo (GM Finance), Vincent Korir Cheruiyot (GM, Supply Chain) and Nicholas Gitobu (former GM Procurement) were arrested over the Sh2 billion Kisumu Oil Jetty scandal. Detectives were still looking for Billy Aseka (Procurement Manager).

At the NHIF, detectives arrested Simon ole Kirgotty (former MD), Ruth Makalla (Acting Corporate Secretary), Gilbert Gathuo (Registration and Compliance Deputy Director), Irene Rono (Financial Reconciliation Assistant Manager), Robert Muna and board members Mudzo Nzili, Yusuf Ibrahim and Elly Nyaim over the Sh 1 billion revenue management system tender.

More targets

Detectives were last evening searching for Geoffrey Mwangi (immediate former MD already charged with obstructing justice), Joseph Mutinda Mbuvi (finance director), Pamela Nyaboke Marendi (procurement manager), David Mulli Nzuki (internal auditor), Jacinta Nyakio Mwangi (Ruaraka branch manager), Fredrick Sagwe Onyancha (customer care officer), Kennedy Arthur Wakhu (supply chain officer), Danson Muchemi Njunji (JamboPay Web Tribe director), Robert Muna Muriithi (JamboPay boss), Millicent Mwangi (former-HR general manager), Darias Mbogo (former administration manager) and Matilda Mwangemi (operations assistant manager).

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said in a statement that he has sufficient evidence to charge Sang and the five others with abuse of office, willful failure to comply with applicable procedures relating to management of public funds and engaging in a project planning. All the 12 KPC and NHIF senior managers were detained till Monday when they will be arraigned.

KPC is said to have contracted South Engineering Company (Seco) to construct the Kisumu Oil Jetty which was meant to facilitate the transportation of oil through Lake Victoria to Uganda and Tanzania at about Sh2 billion instead of an estimated cost of Sh600 million.

While Kenya completed the same, the two neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania neither tendered for the construction of their end nor even showed willingness to do the same.

Bidding row

Yesterday Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau announced his replacement, Hudson Andambi on an interim capacity.

Andambi has been serving as the ministry’s senior principal superintending geologist in charge of petroleum.

“Following unfolding events at KPC and the arrest of top management, the ministry in consultation with KPC board chair has appointed Hudson Andambi as the interim managing director of KPC until the board meets to deliberate on the way forward,” the PS said. “This is to ensure operations continue without interference for purposes of ensuring security of supply of petroleum products.”

The NHIIF case touches on the procurement of a revenue management system, which was advertised but was not delivered despite seven bidders being led on to the end of a dud procurement process by the NHIF management.

The management, led by Kirgotty, wanted to bring on JamboPay to offer payment services to NHIF without going through a competitive process.

No sacred cows

And last evening, Haji promised more arrests in NHIF and KPC next week. “I have given consent to arrest senior managers from NHIF and KPC over graft allegations and they will be arraigned on Monday as we seek more,” he said.

Elsewhere, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti says the war on graft will not spare anyone. Speaking when he attended the second day of National Police Service Week in Naivasha, Kinoti urged Kenyans to support the crackdown on economic crimes.

“An economic criminal is the same as an armed criminal. We shall not leave anybody (sic),” he asserted.

Haji denied the Friday arrests were meant to punish suspects as they remain in cells over the weekend.

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