Businessman Ben Gethi and Joyce Makena both directors of Solarmak Technologies Limited as well as three Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials were found guilty of forging Sh147 million election tender documents and failure to comply with the law.
In a five-hour judgment, Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi found the four IEBC officials Kennedy Ochae, Gabriel Mutunga and Willie Kamanga guilty of failure to comply with procurement laws and colluding to tamper with tender documents submitted by Solarmak Technologies Limited for the supply of solar lanterns for use in the 2013 polls.
Gethi and Makena were convicted of forging a tax compliance certificate issued by Assistant Commissioner of Domestic Taxes department at the Kenya Revenue Authority and using the same in the tendering process ahead of the 2013 polls.
“This court finds that the two are responsible for uttering false document to IEBC well aware that they were false and the aim was to lie to the commission that the said company (Solarmak Technologies) was qualified to participate in that tender while it was not,” Mugambi stated.
Solarmark is said to have contracted to procure 30,000 solar lanterns to the IEBC before the public procurement appeals board reversed the results following complaints from another bidder.
It is said that Solarmak Technologies Ltd, had submitted a bid for a tender to supply lanterns to be used in the March 2013 general election.
The company was to supply the lanterns for Sh127 million while a competing company, Konnexions Systems Ltd, had offered to provide the lamps for Sh107 million.
But Solarmak Technologies’ tender documents were later altered to read Sh105 million.
Charges state that on diverse dates between October 22 and 23, 2012, the accused, at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi, jointly conspired to fraudulently alter the substance of a tender submitted by M/S Solarmak Technologies for the supply of solar lanterns for the March 4, 2013 General Election.
However, Gethi denied the charges stating that he never participated in the tender or visited IEBC offices at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi.
Makena defended herself saying she came to know about the IEBC tender after her arraignment.
Gethi infamously also featured in the National Youth Service 1 scandal.
The case will be mentioned today for mitigation and sentencing.