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Firm used forged letter to secure Sh500m tender

A firm that got a Sh500 million tender in Kiambu County used a forged letter alleged to be from a Chinese company.

Testimony Limited used a forged introductory letter from a Chinese construction firm, China Wu Yi Company Limited, cooked its employees resumes to get a road construction tender, according to court papers filed in the case against Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

The accusations are contained in documents filed in court by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday seeking to recover more than Sh170 million from Waititu.

In the suit, EACC wants Waititu, alongside Testimony Limited, ordered to pay back the money saying they were proceeds of crime.

The anti-graft agency said Testimony used a forged introductory letter to get a contract in Kiambu County to construct several roads and that Waititu used his office to influence the tendering committee to favour the firm.

“Investigations established that in tendering for the subject tender, it had engaged in fraudulent practices, fraud, misrepresentation, breach of procurement laws and bribery to influence the award of tender in its favour,” EACC’s lawyer Diana Kenduiwa argued.

According to EACC, after Testimony clinched the tender, Sh25 million was wired into Bienvenue Hotel Limited account, a hotel associated with Waititu.

According to the anti-corruption watchdog, Testimony also submitted falsified curriculum vitaes and academic certificates for its technical staff, among other documents submitted for verification during the tendering process.

Financial statements

It also emerged that the company submitted financial statements belonging to a third party company and passing them off as their own.

EACC argues that the contract cost Kiambu residents Sh588 million, but the amount was inflated.

Court documents read that Watitu had a private interest in the tenders, which was a conflict of interest. “Investigations also revealed that the eighth defendant (Waititu), while being a public officer, an agent and the Governor of Kiambu County Government knowingly acquired and or held a private interest in the subject contracts which private interest was in conflict with the powers and functions of his public office,” the documents read.

They go on: “The eighth defendant abused his office by directly or indirectly influencing the procurement process and the eventual award of tender in favour of the first defendant (Testimony) and consequently received a benefit of Sh25.6 million from the first defendant out of payments made by the County Government of Kiambu under the contract.”

EACC wants the court to find that the tender to construct roads in Thika, Limuru, Gatundu North, Juja and Ruiru was illegally and irregularly awarded and order for a refund of the money.

The Twalib Mbarak-led commission also took six county employees to court.

Meanwhile, the embattled governor wants the magistrate’s court to bar the county’s Chief Finance Officer Faith Njeri and Justus Bundi, who is the director supply chain management, from testifying in the case. He argues that the two were people who made a final decision or made approvals of the tender in question.

He claims that they will give twisted evidence meant to fix him, culminating into an unfair trial.

The case will resume on January 30.

This article was originally published on Standard Media.


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