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Kenya Pipeline Company and NHIF top officials in court

Geoffrey Mwangi (left) was suspended as Chief Executive Officer alongside Finance Director Wilbert Kurgat. They were first charged failing to cooperate with police in providing crucial documents. Photo/CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 10 – More than twenty suspects—mainly top officials of the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)—were set to face charges Monday, related to mega scandals worth over Sh3 billion.

The officials were arrested last week—others over the weekend and have been in custody until Monday morning when they were taken to court.

They include former Kenya Pipeline Company Managing Director Joe Sang and other officials who worked under him—all accused of misappropriating close to Sh2 billion in the Kisumu Oil Jetty project.

At NHIF, Geoffrey Mwangi who was suspended as Chief Executive Officer upon his arrest and prosecution for interfering with an investigation, will be facing charges alongside his predecessor Simeon Ole Kirgotty and more than a dozen other officials over a Sh1 billion tender awarded to a software development firm.

KPC former Managing Director Sang will be answering to charges of improper award of a tender for the construction of the Kisumu Oil Jettyy worth Sh1.9 billion, according to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

Gloria Khafafa, who worked as the Company Secretary, will be charged with using her officer to improperly confer a benefit for the construction of the oil jetty, beyond the approved budget. Sang and Khafafa were arrested on Friday morning.

The DPP has also indicated that he intends to charge Mwangi, who was suspended as NHF CEO, with three counts of abuse of office—all related to the award of a contract or contracts to Webtribe Limited—an integrated software development firm whose two directors will also be charged.

In the first count, Mwangi will be charged alongside Kirgotty, Ruth Sudoi Makallah (who served as the Legal Affairs Manager) and Pamela Nyaboke Marendi (Procurement Manager) for engaging in the procurement of an Integrated Revenue Collection and Services for Sh49.5 million to Webtribe Kimited without prior planning. Mwangi was the Finance and Investments Manager at the time, when Kirgotty was CEO.

Other officials of KPC and NHIF facing charges are from the Finance and Procurement or Supply Chain departments, who will be answering to charges of willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement by not adhering to procedures and the criteria set out in the tender document.

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By and large, all the NHIF officials in court are required to answer to charges of failing to follow the law in awarding the tender to Webtribe, although Mwangi and Kirgotty are also accused of abuse of office.

On the other hand, Webtribe Limited and its two directors Danson Muchemi and Robert Muna, are charged with fraudulently acquiring public property worth Sh1.1 billion from the public health insurer.

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