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Kaimenyi must quit or be censured over laptops – MPs

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The lawmakers led by Awendo MP Jared Opiyo said the committee on several occasions demanded to be furnished with crucial information on Olive Telecommunications but the Education Ministry blatantly refused/FILE

The lawmakers led by Awendo MP Jared Opiyo said the committee on several occasions demanded to be furnished with crucial information on Olive Telecommunications but the Education Ministry blatantly refused/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – Six members of the Parliamentary Committee on Education have threatened to censure Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi in Parliament for withholding useful information regarding the botched laptop procurement process.

The lawmakers led by Awendo MP Jared Opiyo said the committee on several occasions demanded to be furnished with crucial information on Olive Telecommunications but the Education Ministry blatantly refused.

“The committee had on numerous occasions demanded that they be furnished with due diligence reports conducted (on Olive) which the ministry arrogantly refused to make available. In face of the foregoing we intended to bring a motion of censure against the Education Cabinet Secretary,” Opiyo said.

Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao and his Laikipia East Counterpart Antony Kimaru accused Kaimenyi of holding the House team in contempt and giving wrong information to the members.

“Kaimenyi must take responsibility and resign, or the President sacks him or he faces a censure motion before the end of this month,” Kimaru said.

The House MPs began probing the Sh24 billion laptop tender to supply laptops to primary schools after it emerged that the winning bidder used a sample from its rival company.

“We are actually drafting the motion for us to conceptualise what Sh24.6 billion really means; it’s about Sh5 million per constituency which would mean building a fully fledged secondary school,” Munyao added. “The arrogance that was displayed by the CS did not please any member of the committee.”

The committee had last month called for the suspension of the project until all the issues surrounding it were addressed but Kaimenyi dismissed the plea and insisted that the project must go on.

Education Committee Chairperson Sabina Chege threatened stern action against the Ministry of Education should it sign tender documents to allow Indian firm Olive Telecommunications to supply the laptops to primary schools.

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The committee is in the process of undertaking an audit of the whole tendering process and issue a report.

The tender for one of the key pillars in the Jubilee Coalition manifesto was re-advertised after the initial bid was cancelled.

The censure threat against Kaimenyi came a day after the award of the tender to Olive Telecommunications was cancelled by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

Making the ruling on Tuesday, the board’s chairperson Josephine Mongare said Olive Telecommunications did not only lack the financial capability to implement the project, but also quoted Sh1.4 billion higher than the required threshold.

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