How Manduku has stepped up to prevent looting through procurement

Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director has, since his appointment in November 2018, taken administrative and strategic decisions with a view to sealing procurement loopholes that offered avenues through which corruption thrived at the Mombasa Port.

The main approach has been to ensure no procurement of goods Andy a service said is done without prior planning and budgeting while those tenders that fall short of specific guidelines have been cancelled or issued anew.

A total of 30 tenders have stopped for various reasons between January and September 2019, all valued at KSh21 billion shillings.

During his term, the profitability of the organisation has grown from KSh10.7 to KSh17.6 billion, while gross revenues projection for the year ended 30 June 2019 was expected to hit the KSh55 billing for the first time ever in the history of KPA.

Only weeks after he was confirmed as MD, Manduku, through a memo to Anthony Nyamancha, the head of procurement and supplies, gave strict “conditions for approval of all procurements”.

“I direct that before any request is made to my office for approval of any procurement you should personally ensure that all…. procurement laws as contained in the constitution, the various statutes… various regulations, government circulars and guidelines are strictly complied with,” ordered Manduku in the letter dated 18 December 2018, copied to acting general manager in charge of finance.

While several tenders were cancelled in the period between January and September 2019, the MD went ahead to voice his “concerns over regulations on Procurement’s process” through a letter to all general managers and head of departments dated 2 September 2019.

“Operations at the port will continue to be carried out in strict adherence to the highest tenets of integrity, transparency and accountability and that each individual will be held personally liable for Act such or omissions that fall short of the required standards,” he reiterated in the letter, which cited procurement as “one of the key ARS’s of course concern in respect to resources utilization at the port”.

Construction of a new office tower and purchase of new boats at a total cost KSh9.5 billion are the main tenders stopped on a list that also includes equipment and land purchase as well as dredging and terminal operating system; all at KSh10 billion.

Manduku and his team have been busy in recent weeks, despite reports of ongoing investigations at the institution. A statement to the media, last week, confirmed detectives from the directorate of criminal investigations were undertaking a probe at KPA but downplayed the same, saying the alleged whistleblowers were acting for cartels.

“Indeed we are aware of vast interest created by the type of projects we undertake. The process and outcomes of procurement process have in the past elicited varied outcomes,” read part of the statement signed off by the head of corporate affairs.

The MD was in Kwale to follow up on plans on the Shimoni fishing port given the nod by president Uhuru Kenyatta just over a fortnight ago and led transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on a tour of Kisumu Port.


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