NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has recommended administrative action against NSSF Managing Trustee Richard Langat over the over the Sh5 billion Tassia II tender awarded to a Chinese company for infrastructure development.
In a statement, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko however made clear that the EACC advised him against prosecuting members of the NSSF board of trustees or management over the deal.
Suspended Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi was also being investigated over the project that pitted him against Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli.
Langat’s crime, the EACC found, was “exposing the Fund to contractual obligations when all the funds to finance the project had not been collected from the tenants.”
Atwoli blew the whistle on the project in January of 2014, accusing Langat of flouting procurement regulations in the awarding of Sh5 billion tender.
He accused Langat of sidelining him, as a member on the board, and for flouting procedures by obtaining approval for the award of the tender via email and through a vote at a board sitting.
Federation of Kenya Employers CEO Jacqueline Mugo, as a member of the board, also voiced her reservations over the awarding of the tender to China Jiangxi International Kenya Ltd by the NSSF board via email.
Concerns that were also raised in a 2014 Ombudsman report that called for the prosecution of Langat for abuse of office over the award of the tender.
“The administrative management of the tender process was fraught with irregularities and impropriety,” the Ombudsman found. “The opening of the tender, the Evaluation Committee’s recommendations and the Tender Committee meeting to award the tender apparently all took place on the same day, December 17, 2013.”
The Commission on Administrative Justice also accused Langat of lying that the Nairobi County government had received Sh11,244,000 as payment for submission and inspection of the project plan.
“CAJ confirmed that the County Government of Nairobi did not receive the payment and that the ‘receipt’ submitted to CAJ by NSSF is but an invoice,” the Ombudsman report reads.
Last month the NSSF board lost a High Court bid to have the Ombudsman’s report quashed.