A witness testifying in a graft case facing sacked Kenya Power CEO Ken Tarus  said the suspect was aware of  tender applications through proxies or third parties which “should not have passed preliminary evaluation stages.”

The forensic auditor Charles Cheruyoit said only listed tenderers at the tender opening should have been evaluated and that management had been adviced to black list firms involved in the vice.

He said Tarus’s decision to treat this as a minor deviation was a gross anomaly.

“Additional the committee was unable to avail the minutes held that resolved issues that they considered minor as required by the Act…” the witness said.

Accounting officer

Tarus, his former staff and 10 company managers have been implicated in a multi-billion shillings  tender scandal and are on trial at an anti-corruption court in Nairobi, Kenya.

Cheruyoit  was explaining how he made recommendation for the prosecution of  the suspects.

He aid the responsibility to open the tender evaluation committee lay squarely on Tarus’s shoulders as the “accounting officer.”

The trial court heard that Tarus went against a proviso in the Public Procurement Act that requires participation of three members as “only two participated in the tender opening-Evelyne Amondi and Bernard Mackenzie.”

Tarus and  others are charged with conspiracy to commit an economic crime and abuse of office.

Internal audit

The CEO his predecessor, Ben Chumo, and other executives have since pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They were  arrested after questions arose  over procurement of transformers, labour and transport contracts.

An internal audit prompted the prosecution, the trial court heard.

The court heard that it was recommended that stern action be taken against anyone found to have compromised company information  evaluate the damage as result of the compromise on confidentiality…

The donor community was concerned about issues raised in the report, so was the Parliamentary Energy committee among others, the court heard.

Misrepresentation of facts

Cheruyoit said David Mackenzie did not participate in the tender opening whose venue was the auditorium.

The court was told that 1,354 bidders had responded but interestingly this participation was not captured in the report prompting the forensic audit.

“It was a misrepresentation of facts, the report was silent on participants,” Cheruyoit said.

He said the out of the 1354, 525 were ‘complaint’ and pre-qualified to provide labour and transport contracts.

The witness said  requirements like evidence of ownership of equipment, tools and trucks were glaringly glossed over and at each instance the approval of the MD was sought and was given.

Hearing continues.