Housing Ministry boss accused of working with tenderpreneurship cartels

All is not well at the Ministry of Housing where the Head of Supply Chain Management Services is being accused of using her position to frustrate contractors who do not give kickbacks and commissions in return for lucrative government tenders in the ministry.

Frustrated contractors say Hilda Kaaria, the former Assistant Director of Supplies at the Office of the Director of Public Procurement, is part of a well-known cartel that she ensures are given tenders in the ministry that is the driver of one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda legacy plan.

Citizen Weekly can authoritatively reveal that Ms Kaaria, who moved to the ministry on secondment from Treasury, has become a “thorn in the flesh of contractors” and is now harbouring a scheme to mint millions of money in kickbacks from at least 52 contracts that have been advertised by the ministry of Housing across the country; the deadline for bidding set for this week.

Taking kickbacks

Ms Hildah Kaaria who is accused of frustrating suppliers at the Ministry of Housing since her appointments as the Head of Supply Chain Services. PHOTO/COURTESY

She has been, our sources allege, calling interested bidders asking for kickbacks or otherwise forget about even being shortlisted for the tenders.

“It does not matter how qualified your company is as long as you don’t promise her any kickback or give her money upfront, there is no chance of being awarded any tender,” the contractor anonymously told Citizen Weekly, adding that she treats contractors as “less than human if you try to go to her office for whatever reason”.

“She says she cannot see anybody on any other day except Fridays and even then she is always busy and avoids contractors seeking to see her.”

Apparently, since joining the ministry she has been reorganizing the procurement department to ensure that only those who play her game are assigned work, while those she finds impossible to manipulate are left with no assignments. Further accusations against her revolve on ensuring that those who sit in the tender committees only retreat to facilities, including hotels, where the owners are part of her cartel of kickbacks.

She has been meeting her cartel members, mostly “Somalis” at Fairview and Panafric where she normally collects her loot.

“She is asking everyone she meets which tender or tenders you are interested in then asks you to commit to give her commission upfront so that she can take care of the committee members and the PS.”

Principal Secretary Charles Hinga is said to be unaware of what is going on because “he is compromised and often does everything she tells him through his PA Mr Mwaura”.

Kurunzi has, however, established that the name of the PA to PS Hinga is James Wahome.

Grossly incompetent

The name of environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, the former DPP, with whom they had an affair and is reportedly the force behind her untouchable tag in the ministry and even CS James Macharia is said to be “unable to dare raise a finger against her”.

Sources at the Ministry have told Citizen Weekly how she relates poorly with her colleagues and will threaten anyone with dire consequences if they questioned any irregularities in her work ethic, accusing her of being grossly incompetent and undeserving of the position she currently occupies.

“Everbody wonders how she has risen above the ranks to that position because she does not even know the basics of her work. She is senior to people who have been in government for almost 30 years,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

“It is unthinkable how someone her age has that position yet she is in her 30s.”

Contractors are now calling on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to launch investigations into her conduct and wealth which she has amassed from fraudulent dealings.

She is alleged to have acquired several houses including in Kilimani area where she is understood to currently reside and several guzzler vehicles, among other properties in the country.

Her actions, contractors say, is the reason why the implementation of President Kenyatta’s agenda on universal housing has been slow and at risk of being successful with the 2022 deadline fast approaching.

Since announcing the Big Four Agenda during his swearing-in to serve his second and final term in office, the ministry has been unable to deliver the 500, 000 housing units per year as promised and this could be one of the main reasons for the failure.

She is also accused of being behind the slow pace of implementation of infrastructure projects related to the Universal Healthcare pillar, which are all under the Ministry of Housing.

Courtesy: Citizen Weekly


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