, MOMBASA, Kenya, Feb 15 – The Education, Science and Technology Committee of the National Assembly has demanded the immediate halting of the Sh24.6 billion laptop tender.
Speaking in Mombasa, Committee chairperson Sabina Chege said the winning firm Olive Telecommunications of India is not an original equipment manufacturer as was specified in the tender rules.
“We have raised several issues with the ministry and instead of the ministry first answering the questions we had, they have just been going on with the process like nothing has been happening.”
“That is why we are saying our issues that have been raised must be answered before anything is done,” the Muranga County Woman Representative stated.
MPs Jacob Macharia (Molo) and Michael Munyao (Mbooni) said National Assembly’s Committee on Education is questioning the choice of the company and the capacity of the company to supply the laptops.
“As members of this committee, what we are saying in simple terms is that if this process has anything to do with the slightest element of corruption, then we must stop this process and save the Kenyan taxpayers their hard earned cash,” Macharia said.
Munyao added: “There is no two way about it and if the Ministry should dare make any further steps contrary to the expectations of this Committee, which is to halt the process, then we shall execute our powers within the Parliamentary and House Committee to deal with them properly.”
The House team which is currently probing the tender which was awarded last Monday has the option of recommending in its report to the House for the halting of the project and the naming of the Ministry of Education officials who handled the matter.
If they receive the support of the House, the Executive will have three months to comply in regards with the implementation of the project.
The Ministry officials could find themselves facing a censure motion.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang appeared before the Committee on Wednesday and defended the ministry’s move to award the Olive Telecommunication Company the tender to supply laptops for primary schools.
Already computer firm Hewlett Packard and Haier Group who are among the shortlisted firms for the tender have filed an appeal with the Public Procurement Oversight Authority challenging the awarding of the tender to Olive.