By Lilian Otieno
The hearing of a case in which 11 members of the procurement committee at the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation are facing trial have commenced.
The 11 denied fresh charges of abuse of office, misleading a person and influencing evaluation among other counts.
They are said to have conferred a benefit of 41 Million shillings to a company “Telecommunications today ltd” which did not meet qualifications in a tender award for supply, delivery and installation of cablings.
The case involving Evans Githeru, Mustafa Aman, James Bundi, George Sar, John Musyoka, Margaret Kivyunzi, John Kipkori, Justus Wabiabo, Musyega Asava, Wilfred Munyiri has been pending in court since 2014.
The first witness in the case Aphia Mugena Kaluki told anti-corruption Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali that the procurement process according to her was duly followed.
She is an engineer working in the planning department of the National Water Conservation whose responsibilities are to carry out physibility studies and design on projects as well as supervise consultants and projects.
She chaired the evaluation committee of four members as appointed by the Managing Director then.
As committee members they were not in any way to communicate with the tenderes but to evaluate and give a report and analysis of the tenderes to the procurement committee.
During evaluation, the committee had to undertake three major stages which included the mandatory criteria, technical and financial evaluation.
A total of 19 companies had tendered.
At the preliminaries only seven companies qualified for the job. They comprised of Intergrated supply ltd, telecommunications today, Cwrus networks ltd, com 21 ltd, encapuculated east Africa ltd and teledata ltd.
At the technical stage where the companies were expected to demonstrate how they would install the cabling, methodology, check contactors experience and past performance, only 4 tenderers were successful.
They included Cwrus networks, Integrated, telecommunications today and encapsulated. The four member committee then did a report which was approved by the procurement committee.
They then proceeded to the financial evaluation where telecommunications emerged best. Because they had the power to carry out due diligence, they went to telecommunications offices located at Kimathi house (suite 205) where they established that it existed.
It was while carrying out due diligence that they discovered that telecommunications today offered Panasonic cablings and not sisca as was required by the corporation but were convinced that Panasonic was of more advantage that sisco.
They then settled for telecommunications and advised that they sign a statement of compliance, specifications to capture any additions and recommended that telecommunications supply and install the cablings at a tender price of 41 milion shillings.
“But this was not to last. After a few days I received a memo from the Managing Director Kandie addressed to me and two others alleging a few anomalies’’ she said.
Kandie had indicated in the memo that the company did not exist, its registration was not legal, original certificates, bank certificates, audited accounts and tax compliance were not genuine and therefore the firm did not qualify to do the job.