NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – The Sh1.8 billion Anglo Leasing contract which led to the prosecution of two former senior government officials and three businessmen was done within procurement laws, were above board and perfectly executed, a witness has told the court.
Kenneth Mwangi, a director of procurement at the Treasury said “there was no evidence of a conspiracy as the process adhered to prevailing regulations.”
The witness was testifying in a case in which former Finance Minister David Mwiraria, three PSs, businessmen Rashmi Kamani and Deepak Kamani are charged with a conspiracy to defraud the government in the procurement of modern police surveillance equipment.
“There was nothing untoward in the procurement,” Mwangi said in his evidence.
He said the then Finance Minister gave approval within the law for “direct procurement” as this was a security related transaction.
The minister, Mwangi said, had powers to direct the method to be used in procurement under the Exchequer audit procurement regulations.
Mwiraria, the court heard, was also empowered in law to authorise the signing of the contract against provisions in the External Loans Act whose payment period was later revised from 48 months to 66.
He said the process was not “a one-off affair” but was subjected to ” every possible scrutiny by the Treasury and involved many government agencies.”
The witness said that correspondences between the State agents involved in the procurement but later charged with offences showed “no evidence of a conspiracy” as they were perfect and normal workings of government.
“Nothing in the procurement procedures followed suggested any conspiracy; this is how the government works,” Mwangi said.
The court heard that the Attorney General approved the contract which to date has not been invalidated.
A Chief Accountant at the Kenya Police Service, Monica Muthoni said payment vouchers involved in the transaction were made at the Office of the President.
“They were all in the estimate books for the financial year, the prices were fair and reasonable,” the witness said.
She concurred in cross-examination that the government expenditure on the police upgrade project was “properly incurred having been voted for and okayed by Parliament.”
The hearing continues.