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BY KORIR JUMA/NAIROBI,14TH JULY 2018-Former Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) managing director Ben Chumo has been arrested.
According to a statement from the director of public prosecution Chumo and nine other senior managers are facing corruption charges linked to the procurement of faulty transformers, a deal that reportedly cost taxpayers a total of Ksh.310,129,743.
“Goods were accepted without inspection upon waiver which was issued because KPLC felt that it was too costly to have engineers travel to the factory to inspect the transformers. No inspection was undertaken upon receiving goods in Kenya,” a statement from the Director of Public Prosecution reads.
The DPP says , the senior managers entered into a contract agreement with Muwa Trading Company even after the alarm was raised that the equipment was faulty.
“Investigations have revealed that KPLC had cancelled the contract allegedly on poor quality transformers but despite this clear position on the part of KPLC, the suit was compromised at the appellate stage in that a consent was recorded by the parties ‘marking the matter as settled’,” a statement from the country’s top prosecutor reads.
On Saturday, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) indicated that so far, five out of the 1o suspects are in police custody.
They include Dr. Chumo, Ms. Beatrice Meso (GM, Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary), Mr. Peter Mwicigi (General Manager Regional Co-ordination), Mr. Joshua Mutua (General Manager, Commercial Services) and Mr. Harun Karisa (Acting General Manager, Finance).
The DCI has ordered the remaining five individuals present themselves to the nearest police station.
“They are to be charged with conspiring to commit an offense of economic crime namely fraudulent acquisition of public property, aiding commission of a felony, abuse of office, willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement among other charges,” the DCI said.
They include Ken Tarus (former GM Finance), Peter Mungai Kinuthia (GM, Business Strategy), Abubakar Swaleh (GM, Human Resource & Administration), Samuel Ndirangu (GM, Information Communications Technology), Stanley Mutwiri (GM, Infrastructure Development).
Four directors of Muwa Trading Company Limited are also facing charges of conspiracy.
The move comes barely three weeks after Dr. Chumo was appointed to chair the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).