Senior officials at the Ministry of Petroleum are o the radar of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for allegedly orchestrating fraud scheme to sell defective government subsidised gas cylinders with a total allocation of Sh3billion.
Out of the 185,217 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders supplied to the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) for the poor, a total of 62,251 were rejected.
Only one firm Metal Mate, out of the four that supplied got a clean bill of health of all the LPGs supplied.
“Yes, the matter is of interest due to level of compelling allegations put forth.” A senior detective who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
Allied East Africa Ltd 47,534 rejects out of the 61,380 supplied and inspected while Surge Energy and Accurate Power Systems registered 11,823 and 7,894 rejects out of the 61,380 and 104, 350 supplied and inspected respectively.
“Some firms supplied more than was requested and the LPGs were included in the inventory.” An insider intimated.
The government-sponsored programme is dubbed Gas-Yetu Mwananchi Gas Project; the households were to receive 6kg cooking gas cylinders and burners at a discounted price of Sh2, 000.
“While we must promote local businesses, credible questions must be asked about the manner NOCK may have handled the 357,000 gas cylinders tender awarded to a consortium comprising Allied East Africa, Surge Energy, Metalmate and Accurate Energy.” Consumers Federation of Kenya Secretary General Stephen Mutoro said.
The Mwananchi Gas Project was unveiled October 2016 as a three year programme targeting the poor in rural areas as conservation alternative to contain the destruction of forests cover.
“If 67,000 cylinders out of the 185,000 were rejected for being defective, the writing is on the wall as regards the competency and capacity to be awarded in the first place. Kenya Bureau of Standards equally failed the consumers by not verifying the standards of the cylinders before being supplied to Nock,” said Mutoro.
Nock said under this project, 6Kg complete cylinders (gas, burner & grill), trading under the brand name “Gas Yetu”, is being distributed at a discounted price of Kshs 2000 to households which would otherwise not afford.
“Besides the discounted program, National Oil is developing a robust distribution model that will enable Kenyan citizens in all the counties access LPG at the nearest shopping center through licensed distributors and retailers.” Nock says.