Police plan more arrests over KPC fuel theft

Seth Onyango  @SethManex

More heads are set to roll at Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) as detectives plan more arrests of officials implicated in massive fuel theft disguised as spillage.

People Daily has also learnt the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is targeting officials involved in the construction of a pipeline between Nairobi and Mombasa.

On the spotlight is the awarding of the most lucrative tender to Zakhem International, a Lebanese firm, to build a new pipeline in 2014 at nearly Sh48.8 billion — yet the contract price has been adjusted upwards by at least Sh2.7 billion.

Detectives confirmed they have completed investigations into the alleged graft surrounding the tender and are pursuing the suspects who will be in custody before Friday. “We will not reveal their names now to avoid interfering with the impending arrests, but by Friday all of them will be in custody awaiting prosecution,” said a detective who sought anonymity.

Police sources said the initial cost of the construction of Line 6 was Sh48 billion, but the contractor had returned to demand a further Sh208 million.  Zakhem International reportedly demanded a Sh4.4 billion penalty for delays in building the 450km pipeline.

Appearing before National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee a fortnight ago, embattled ex-KPC MD Joe Sang confirmed that Zakhem had slapped them with an extra Sh5 billion claim for delays in completing the project.

Details of the loan agreement make it mandatory that the money is paid quarterly, meaning that KPC has to part with some Sh1.34 billion quarterly.

Early this year, Sang said that out of the Sh48.8 billion shelled out for construction of Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline, Sh35 billion was a loan from a consortium of tier one banks on the strength of the KPC balance sheet.

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