NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 24 – The chief Procurement Director in Kirinyaga County was on Wednesday tasked to explain how questionable tenders were awarded to various companies, in what formed the basis for the impeachment of Governor Anne Waiguru.
Joseph Otieno, the county’s Director of Supply Chain Management, was cross-examined by a lawyer representing the County Assembly that voted to impeached Waiguru, Ndegwa Njiru, who poked holes in procedures of the awards.
He denied claims that Waiguru appointed her close associates Pauline Kamau and Gichira Wayne to key committees to secure her interests, saying she does not have a say in tender awards.
He also clarified that the process of appointing members to the Tender Committee was procedural and accused the ward representatives of being on a fishing expedition.
Otieno was appearing as Waiguru’s first witness before an 11-member Senate Committee, chaired by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, which will wind sittings tomorrow.
Lawyer Ndegwa Njiru, for the Assembly, was seeking to prove allegations and accusations levelled against the first time Governor for using Pauline and Wayne as alternate chairpersons in all major tender evaluation committees’ contrary to the law.
“I can confirm that Wayne and Pauline have never sat in one evaluation committee they have been in separate chairpersons to different evaluation committees,” he said.
The two, according to the Kirinyaga ward representatives, were at the beck and call of the Governor with the sole aim of securing her interests in the allocation of tenders.
Pauline, who serves as the County Director of Administration, once served as the Waiguru’s Personal.
“Once I recommend a full membership of the evaluation committee, I send it to the accounting officer for consent and subsequent approval. At that juncture is when a full evaluation committee is composed,” he said.
Waiguru’s lead counsel Paul Nyamodi however, protested the counsel for the Kirinyaga County Assembly was on a fishing expedition to nail her client, without proving the MCAs case.
“The counsel is obviously fishing for evidence and is apparent that whatever evidence they have brought is deficient and he should be discouraged,” he protested.
Ndegwa held that Otieno was spewing lies to hide the character and conduct of Governor Waiguru.
“I want to put it clear before this committee that you have lied and it should go on record,” he said.
The committee also heard that there were no two companies that were awarded tenders worth millions of shillings.
According to the Kirinyaga MCAs, Waiguru had awarded Velocity and Velocty company tenders illegally but the procurement chief clarified that the existence of the names of the two companies in the contractual papers was a typo.
“I can confirm that the contractual company is Velocty. The issue of two companies was being pegged on a small typo one with i and another without, which was in one of the paragraphs in the contract document. There are no two companies as claimed,” he said.
Ndegwa had claimed that the two names, Velocity and Velocty, had appeared in documents presented before the Senators.
Waiguru will know her fate Friday.