The anti-graft detectives will today complete questioning Kenya Power board members but the ongoing concurrent grilling of senior managers will continue until late next week.
Those set to record statements over alleged manipulation of tendering process by board members are Board of Directors chairperson Vivienne Yeda, Engineer Isaac Kiva and Humphrey Muhu.
The board has been indicted over interference in the management and tendering process in favour of their preferred proxy tender-preneurs that has occasioned massive loss of taxpayers money due to over-pricing of commodities and services supplied, air supply and delivery of faulty items.
The Informer has also established that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Eacc) sleuths will audit all tenders executed, amount and contractors paid to flag directors operating multiple companies allegedly enjoying monopoly in the lose making government entity.
“We will audit the trail spanning quite a good period which will reveal the institutional modus operandi, whether administrative operations are interfered by the advisory wing.” Our source intimated.
Yesterday, board members Engineer Elizabeth Rogo, Kairo Thuo, and Sachen Gudka were questioned.
Also on the probe is how the board awarded a tender for restructuring the company to a British based firm also consulting for the East African Development Bank (EADB) where the board chair is a Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers’ Union (Ketawu) faulted the conduct of the board members.
Through national general secretary Ernest Nadome, the workers blamed board members for near paralysis of operations.
“The current board has four members; they are referred to within the energy sector as the four musketeers. The four musketeers are hell-bent on bringing down KP,” said Nadome at a presser.
“The management of KP have been intimidated, all their work is being run by the board. We are wondering how the government got such a board,” he said.
The workers are unhappy with Yeda, Kitonny, Rogo and Gudka.
Ketawu also wants the proposed Safaricom smart grid solution allegedly being pushed by a section of the board under the pretext of PPP & PIIP Acts, reviewed.
In August, Ms Apopo led board in making shock revelations before the National Assembly Energy committee that they held 112 cumulative meetings over the 12 months to June this year.
These included 32 full board meetings and five special board meetings, while the others were divided among the committees.
“I wish to express that these have been under the approval of the Ministry of Energy,” Kittony Waiyaki told the MPs.
Within that year, there were 14 full board meetings.
The board and the committees met 53 times in the year to June 2019 and 54 times in the period to June 2018.
Though the board claimed the meetings were approved, The Standard has reliably information that Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter had also sought a response from Apopo and the board on claims of several meetings outside the Salaries and Remuneration Commission guidelines.
The board is on the spot for allegedly rejecting the proposed restructuring of Kenya Power organogram by the sacked for Managing Director Bernard Ngugi-led team which was yet to be approved by the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC).
However, it was on the tender for insurance brokerage services that the board and management allegedly clashed.
At first, the board cancelled the Sh200 million tender, with Yeda pushing for the amount of the deal to be increased to Sh1 billion owing to Kenya Power’s size.
Although, Yeda announced that Ngugi had resigned, it was alleged that he was forced out after he was appraised dismally.
The latest moved by EACC comes in the wake of an ongoing probe by the David Gikaria-led committee where it emerged the board sat 112 times contrary to circular by the SRC capping.
Gikaria queried the meetings convened by the board and perceived encroachment on the firm’s management.
Just like EACC and the MPs said they had received complaints that the board was interfering with the management and was going beyond its oversight mandate to implement some plans, which is the role of the company’s management.
Five of the nine board members were appointed last year after the previous directors quit in unexplained circumstances.
The grilling follows the August 5, letter written to Oduor, Yeda and copied to the Ministry of Energy officials over the investigations by EACC.
He said the removal of Ngugi was attributed to conflict of interest.
Mbarak said there were allegations the board is involved in procurement functions contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act (PPADA), the State Corporation Act Cap 446 and the Mwongozo Code.
“It is further reported that the board has been cancelling tenders without due regard to the provisions of PPADA on the cancellation of a procurement,” said Mbarak.
The EACC boss censured the board decisions and actions, noting that they have adversely affected the institution and exposed it and taxpayers to heavy financial liability in the event of litigation.
The same was also copied to Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge.