Rogue Nairobi County officials drawn from the Environment and County City Treasury departments alongside a powerful cartel of garbage contractors have hatched a clandestine plot to sabotage collection of refuse within the Central Business District (CBD) and city estates in an illegal ploy to force payments of unaudited invoices amounting to in excess of Sh500million, The Informer has established.
According to insiders, the group enjoying unholy union with unscrupulous private garbage contractors want the controversial payments paid out before elections.
Senior officials from the county’s Treasury department spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals disclosed that the payments are scheduled to be made on Monday next week on the eve of the August 9 General Elections.
“Plans have been made to make payments on Monday next week a day before the elections. The timing is suspect considering that we are on a transition and change of guard at the county. The inventory records of daily garbage collection, invoices and payment vouchers are believed to have been tampered with to exaggerate figures as well.” Our source revealed.
Currently, NMS has partnered with outdoor advertising firm, Magnet Ventures Limited in the installation of garbage collection bins at strategic points within the CBD.
Some of the contracted garbage collectors by City Hall are; Aende Group, Creative Consolidated System, Kemnest Investment, Janel Agencies and Kange Construction.
Others are; Yiro Enterprises, J W Mwangi, Tema Home Care, Nyawa Agencies, Felixilease Ltd, Vineyard Holdings, Hardi Enterprises, Beta Best, Jackoy Enterprises, Purlexis Enterprises, Acacia Equipment, Yiro Enterprise and Commodity Waste Management.
Previously, Aende Group was subject of investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Eacc) for allegedly having been picked against three other firms in a skewed competitive bidding process and had 15 secretariat members and 52 stewards against a required 200 stewards to clean the 2km-square Nairobi central business district.
Incidentally, Lawrence Wambua is the acting Finance and Economic Planning CEC and the substantive CEC for Environment.
Wambua was appointed in an acting capacity following a vicious fight for control of City Hall finances between governor Kananu and former Finance Executive Allan Igambi who is also wanted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over alleged fake payments alongside disgruntled Finance Chief Officer Mohamed Abdi Sahal.
In 2019, former Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko was put to task to explain the award and consequent payments of controversial garbage collection tenders amounting to over Sh600million.
Sh162, 092,407 was paid to two firms for collecting garbage in areas they had not been pre-qualified for.
However, both the Major General Mohamed Badi’s led Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and the executive wing of the county headed by governor Anne Kananu have remained tight lipped over the matter.
When contacted, both NMS Director General Badi and governor Kananu did not respond to our phone calls.
Our investigations established that the county garbage trucks have been deliberately grounded for failure to pay insurance cover for the county fleet coupled by the ongoing boycott by the private garbage contractors.
The rogue county officials involved have allegedly been promised hefty kickbacks if the planned heist of public coffers sails through.
“The litter strewn allover the place and heaps of uncollected garbage within the city center and in the estates is an artificially engineered situation by garbage cartel and rogue county officials. They want to sabotage and precipitate a crisis to warrant payments of unaudited vouchers. Some are believed to be fake and exaggerated tonnage of garbage collected.” Our source added.
Currently, the city is an eyesore full of filth and heaps of decomposing refuse posing a serious health hazard and blocked sewer systems.
Besides the markets, other worst affected areas laden with uncollected refuse include; Duruma Road, Racecourse,Ring Road, Pumwani ,Landhies, OTC area,Latema, and Kenneth Matiba Roads and city estates.
Acknowledging it is their mandate to deal with waste collection, transportation and disposal Services within all the 85 Nairobi Wards, they only maintain a small number of own fleet outsourcing about 70 percent of the work to garbage management firms.
Previously, Badi said for NMS to successfully manage all the waste generated within Nairobi County, they require about 150 garbage trucks doing at least two trips per day.
City hall is still entangled in a deeply entrenched and web-threaded vicious cartels that include high ranking politicians, government officials and lawyers who have continued to call shots.
Majorly, the well networked group fleecing public coffers through unverified and exaggerated garbage tonnage are said to be in full control procurement, finance and the audit departments at City Hall offices to ensure firm grip of the lucrative refuse collection deals.
In a clear manifestation of the millions minted through trash collection, Sonko, just like his predecessor Evans Kidero blacklisted the previous private garbage collection firms and enlisted new ones.