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Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

 

Traffic woes call for long-term solutions, not knee-jerk reactions

By KIAMBATI MINJIRE
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Poor planning and politics could have led to the poorly implemented, but noble goal of decongesting the city in the latest move by Nairobi City County to bar public service vehicles from the CBD.

Governor Mike Sonko should have consulted widely, including with leaders from other counties that transact daily with the capital city.

This crisis is just a microcosm of a bigger plight that the transport sector faces. From matatus to boda-bodas, traffic jams to impunity, one would be forgiven for being pessimistic about various proposals made to streamline the sector.

‘Michuki Rules’, which are ignored at will, have been, perhaps, the best tool ever to cure the sector of its ills.

The phenomenal growth in vehicles and motorcycles calls for a strict regime of regulations, insulated from our expedient politics.

There is a tendency by the government to handle the transport challenges in isolation yet the sector is intertwined with many others.

DISCIPLINE

Commuter transport being a sensitive sector with veritable implications on national economic development, craves for a long-term solution, not these knee-jerk reactions.

Questions arise as to the worth of the numerous benchmarking trips undertaken by county officers and other leaders, whose findings hardly get implemented.

Countries with highly developed transport systems have proved that it is possible to enforce discipline and order with a correlating effect on customer service and experience.

In the East African region, Rwanda has been cited as a case study on this front.

In the United Arab Emirates, there is a seamless integration of PSVs, air, water, and railway transport, interlinked to offer commuters an uninterrupted movement. Commuters save time and can predict their travel times.

According to Worldatlas.com, cities with the best transport systems include Berlin, Shanghai, London, Zurich, Tokyo and Paris, in that order.

There, profit is not the main motive of the PSV sub-sector since commuting is viewed as an enabler for economic activities and can market the country through tourists and global visitors.

Their governments take cognisance of the fact that, if public transport service is too expensive for the majority of the population, people’s ability to transact business is constrained, slowing down the economy.

The country should gradually do away with small-capacity vehicles for mass transit system with a variety of choices.

We came near that in 2010 when the government signalled that it intended to phase out 14-seater matatus in favour of higher-capacity buses, though it failed.

Nairobi, as the regional economic hub, requires more than political leadership. Changing the status of Nairobi City County into a department of the national government, modelled along the London metropolitan, has been floated.

That could solve most of the planning challenges facing our capital city.


Solve health equipment dispute once and for all

By EDITORIAL
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The controversy over the leased medical equipment supplied to counties three years ago should be resolved urgently.

Counties are spending incredibly huge sums of money to pay for the equipment, some of which is not in use.

Already, counties are facing serious financial crises with declined subventions from the National Treasury, which cash is never disbursed on time. They cannot bear more burden.

In view of the fact that health services were devolved under the current Constitution, the national government set out to secure medical equipment for them through bulk procurement — which is, arguably, cost-effective and, hence, justifiable.

The equipment was obtained on lease and the counties were not consulted over their requirements or apprised of the cost implications.

The counties raised serious objections. For one, they declared that they did not need some of the equipment.

It was not a priority, as most counties were literally struggling to provide basic healthcare and required essential equipment, not the high-end ones.

Worse, some counties did not have the infrastructure, including power supply, or the requisite human resource. Not surprisingly, the equipment has lain idle in some counties.

But the more profound challenge is the recent increase of the cost of repayment from Sh97 million to Sh200 million a month, making the deal extremely costly and unsustainable.

Again, the counties were never consulted. In effect, they have found themselves struggling to pay for what they did not ask for and at a rate determined elsewhere.

Simply put, counties have been thrust into financial distress due to unilateral decisions by other people.

We are now informed that the governors have resolved to present the matter to an inter-governmental committee chaired by Deputy President William Ruto to have it resolved. That is critical.

It is injudicious to continue with the scheme without clarifying pertinent issues. Importantly, the government ought not to get into such an arrangement again — imposing a project on counties and compelling them to pay huge costs without involving them.

Managing health services remains a major challenge to counties. The various counties are at different levels of development and, hence, have unique requirements.

So, it is unwise to lump all of them together and force them into a deal that does not benefit them.

At any rate, the whole question of devolution is independence; letting people make decisions on matters that concern them. This matter keeps recurring and, with the planned meeting, it should be resolved once and for all.


Parties should be tolerant

By EDITORIAL
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The biggest criticism of our political parties is their apparent lack of internal democracy.

The leaders tend to run these organisations like personal fiefdoms, where decisions are often made with a streak of dictatorship and intolerance.

This is so and yet the parties are often very critical of any flaws in the running of the national government. Indeed, parties have become adept at preaching water and drinking wine.

They must avoid a throwback to the grim days of single-party tyranny.

Parties are governed by rules and regulations. It would, therefore, be illogical to join one if one does not believe in its philosophy.

Sadly, this appears to be the nature of our crude politics, with parties reduced to vehicles for ascent to political office.

MISCONDUCT

But parties cannot condone indiscipline among members and hope to run their affairs well. Errant members must be punished, but after being given an opportunity to be heard.

It is against this backdrop that we can understand why the Orange Democratic Movement has endorsed the decision of its disciplinary committee to expel two MPs and some MCAs for “gross misconduct”.

The coastal politicians have rubbed the party leadership the wrong way by publicly supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.

Of course, that is not the party’s position and the members knew that they were transgressing but they remained defiant.

They now risk losing their seats should they be expelled. But they have one more chance to save their seats: A date with the party’s National Executive Council next year.

However, expelling members for expressing divergent views is hardly the conduct that would be expected of a party that has distinguished itself for fighting for democracy. Its final decision must be one that entrenches solid democratic credentials.


Women must be women to live dream

By MICHAEL OTIENO
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It is most saddening that the bill meant to have more women in elective positions, in line with the provisions of the Constitution, could not be passed just because MPs are not willing to vote for it.

It’s a fact that the majority of our MPs are men. The obvious interpretation of this is that men are unwilling to have women occupy positions of leadership in the country. Therefore, this is a wake-up call to women to start being women if they want to realise their dreams.

Traditionally, women were considered flawed and the only place befitting people with such a trait was in the kitchen. They were also made to believe that they had no business in any serious leadership position.

That line of thought, for sure, is far gone and it is time men broadened their worldview and realised that women, too, have what it takes to lead.

INTIMIDATED

It was in the 17th century when we witnessed the emergence of the concept ‘The Chef’. And, history has it, the early chefs were members of the military and were exclusively men.

So, the morass that is being created by the male MPs in regard to the two-thirds gender rule is outrageous.

In the recent past, studies have revealed that men tend to fear women in high-level leadership positions, for such women often exhibit the same sort of leadership styles, behaviour and capability with their male counterparts. That does not thrill most men.

The society has continually made men believe that they are the ones to be in charge and that women just have to follow them.

But the men seem to have conveniently forgotten that there are a number of great women who paved the way for the modern feminist movement — the likes of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Maria Theresa of Austria, just to mention two.

The changes that these women brought about have altered the course of history.

Creating a work environment where women can thrive, and employing initiatives that support, advance, retain and reward women achievers, is not only the right thing to do; it is the smartest and only way to elevate our mothers, wives and sisters to realise their potential in leadership.

The absenteeism that was witnessed in Parliament the other day, when MPs were expected to vote for the long-awaited Gender Bill, was absurd and uncalled-for.

The majority of those who failed to show up were men, which shows just how fickle men can be, despite the numerous attempts by their party leaders to rally them to see to it that the bill is approved.

It is critically important, therefore, for us to look at the challenges women often face in the society and clear the path for talented and dynamic women leaders to rise to the top and to inspire the next generation of women leaders in the world. For as the saying goes, “women leaders take care, men leaders take charge”.

Many powerful women in Africa have demonstrated tremendous leadership skills and contributed immensely to improving the lives of their people.

They include Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, who became the continent’s first female president in 2006, and continued to struggle for the safety of women and women’s rights.

Ghana’s Yaa Asantewaa led an army of thousands of soldiers during the Yaa Asantewaa war of independence against the British colonial forces in 1900.

Queen Nzinga of Angola encouraged her people to resist Portugal’s colonial influences, and even worked with the Dutch to drive the colonisers out.

Then we have Gisèle Rabesahala of Madagascar, the first Malagasy woman to be elected as a municipal councillor and later appointed a Cabinet minister.

She is remembered for dedicating her entire life to Madagascar’s independence and advocating human rights.

Lastly, we have Huda Shaarawi, who spoke up for women issues and participated in Egypt’s nationalist struggle. She later established the Egyptian Feminist Union and was the founding president of the Arab Feminist Union.

The one thing all these iconic women leaders seem to have in common is refusing to stay in a box that society continually attempted to put them in.

It is time for women in this generation to start taking lessons from the successful leaders and stop taking “no” for an answer.

It is their responsibility to inspire the next generation of women and challenge them to take up leadership positions.

It is time our women took their rightful places in leadership. It is also time for them to stop waiting to be merely nominated to the assemblies, but elected or appointed to office on merit.

With the right mindset, unity and togetherness, what women can achieve will surprise all of us.

Mr Otieno is a lecturer at Mwangaza College, Nakuru, and freelance journalist. [email protected]


Change your power bill from liability to asset

By ROSE HASSAN
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Utilities, especially electricity, is a liability and expense. You cannot get value from its consumption — maybe just the satisfaction derived from it.

You cannot, by any means, claim a share of the vendor by virtue of 100 years of consumption. To be fair, you cannot say the same of the food you consume but, then again, you do not have an alternative.

The paradigm shift is having utilities as an asset rather than an expense. You are better off with a borehole than tapped water and grid solar than electricity from a utility company.

The customer life cycle concept has it that, in an average lifetime, you will consume a certain number of units of electricity and/or water. Capitalise that and you have a mountain of liability instead of a solid asset that can outlive you!

The cost of utilities such as electricity, sewer and water are an expense and liability. An individual will incur an expense for the amount of utilities used to heat and light her house.

Since the vendor provides the electricity before it bills the user (post-pay), the consumer incurs an expense and a liability every day, which increases by the day and is reduced by payments.

When a post-pay consumer pays the amount billed for the previous month’s usage, she will still have a liability for the utilities used since last month.

If you are using the pre-paid meter, then you must have had the annoying noise it makes when the units run low. Consider the much you will have paid in your lifetime!

For a manufacturer, the cost of the electricity used in the factory will be apportioned to the products as overhead. If all the products remain in inventory, the utility expense is fixed in the inventory’s cost.

When products are sold, the cost of utilities allocated to those products will automatically be expensed as part of the cost of goods sold.

Under accrual accounting, the cost is included in the products’ cost — whether or not the utilities have been paid for. Because of double-entry accounting, the amount owed for the utilities is reported on the balance sheet as a liability.

How will renewable energy change this, you may ask?

Companies with high power costs are resorting to solar. The initial cost is heavy but, with time, the expenditure is spread over 20 years, the expected lifetime of a solar system.

Accountants now charge a depreciation of the asset (solar system), which is tax-deductible, as opposed to having it as a cost component in production and a fixed cost of running the firm.

This dual effect has considerably reduced their cost of production and made the prices of their products more competitive.

For a marketer, this provides a competitive advantage and rhymes with Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) and 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

If you are an exporter within the European market, this can make the difference between a deal and no deal.

Ms Hassan is the Kisumu branch manager of Solarnow, a renewable energy company. [email protected]


Nairobi’s nightmare not crazy matatus but residents on foot

By CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO
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When morning came on Monday, it was supposed to be the worst day for the Kenyan matatu industry, as the ban on them getting anywhere near the Nairobi central business district imposed by Governor Mike Sonko went into effect.

The chaos was expected, and as the drama unfolded, Sonko could even afford to joke that the ban offered good exercise for unfit Nairobians. By lunch time, it had turned into a world-class disaster — and the biggest public relations coup for matatus.

Hundreds of thousands of commuters flooded the roads, overwhelming flyovers and some streets like locusts.

We know that there are nearly four million people in Nairobi and its environs, but we would never have figured out how what they looked like on foot until Monday.

The resulting mass of humanity created, perhaps, the most memorable photographs of urban Kenya in 30 years — thousands of people who were too many for footbridges, which looked close to collapsing and killing record numbers from the sheer weight.

Even if you are very clever, I am sure you didn’t envisage that you would have a “traffic” jam waiting to get on a footbridge that would be longer than the ones made by cars on the streets.

Nairobi’s bigger nightmare, it turns out, is not its ungovernable matatus; it’s the city residents on foot. The capital is not just built to handle them.

And the matatus have now been revealed to be something more than vehicles driven my mad men — they are Nairobi’s most efficient distribution mechanism of its working population.

I suspect that, this week, many students of urbanisation in Kenya settled on the subject of their master’s theses. But, especially, I think Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich didn’t sleep on Monday night.

He must have been on his calculator, working out how much the matatu industry pays in taxes and figuring that, if they remitted his cut from just a fraction of the multitudes he saw walking that day, then all this talk of Kenya being heavily indebted would disappear in the mountain of surplus that he would have.

By Tuesday, Sonko had thrown in the towel and ended the matatu ban, but Rotich and the students of urbanisation were wiser.

The revelations we saw on Monday come along only once in a lifetime. However, the view we have of matatus also illustrated how often popular knowledge and accepted wisdom can be woefully wrong and hard to argue against until they are busted dramatically by events.

I will take a famous (or is it infamous) example from my own country, Uganda. Like it was, and still is, the case in Kenya and other parts of East Africa, there is a widely held view that Asians dominate the economy and are very wealthy.

In Uganda, this anti-Asian sentiment blew up in August 1972, when dictator Field Marshal Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of the country’s South Asian community numbering about 80,000, giving them 90 days to leave.

APPROPRIATION

I use “South Asian” deliberately. In the imagination of many Ugandans, they were all “Indians”. They were not.

Only between 4,000-4,500 went back to India — less than the 6,000 who ended up as refugees in Kenya. About 27,000 were British citizens. Another 23,000 were Ugandans.

Amin spent many weeks afterwards going from town to town, walking the streets and allocating the expropriated Asian businesses and properties — nearly 6,000 of them — to his friends, supporters and military officers.

To do that, he had to ignore some inconvenient signs that had come up outside most of the properties. As the Asians left, bank signs mushroomed outside the properties and their houses in the leafy suburbs that Amin and his cohorts coveted.

There was much confusion, because this was supposed to be “Asian property”. How come now that Bank of Baroda, Grindlays Bank, Barclays Bank and others were claiming to be the owners, the junta entourage and many others in the country asked.

Because, the businesses had taken loans, and many of the beautiful houses were built or bought with mortgages. In the end, it was too late to save the economy.

But perhaps the most eye-opening development from the Amin expropriation of the Asians was an understanding of what leftists dubbed the working of “finance capital”.

In there was the seed of the destruction of the Amin regime. His government immediately went into a wider conflict with global finance, because, ultimately, he had seized assets from the big banks.

If Amin had understood how global capital really worked, he might not have kicked out the Asians. If Governor Sonko knew how exactly matatus played into the wider economy, he might have chosen a different path.

Mr Onyango-Obbo is the publisher of Africapedia.com and explainer Roguechiefs .com. [email protected]


Citizen education in curriculum to boost war against corruption

By JANE NYAGA
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In a dynamic globalised, interconnected world with increasing manifestations of solidarity and intolerance, food insecurity, violent extremism, terrorism and corruption, it has become critical that education systems nurture learners to address these challenges.

Such an education system should instil respect for human rights — including inclusion, gender equality, social justice and diversity — giving learners the competencies and opportunity to learn to live together and realise their rights and obligations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed a strong will to end corruption and other malpractices. That can be achieved through law enforcement, public education and ethics and integrity.

Sessional Paper No. 8 of 2013 on national values and principles of governance has identified education (specifically curriculum) as one of the primary champions of values and responsible citizenship. Citizenship education is the ideal forum for addressing graft.

Kenya’s curriculum reform is geared towards a competency-based curriculum (CBC), whose ultimate goals is to nurture learners to become responsible, productive and active citizens. Citizenship is one of the seven core competencies in the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF), the backbone of the new system.

A good curriculum should uphold not only competency but character; a person who not only knows that something is bad but appreciates and practises that which is right.

Education is more than literacy and numeracy. Education systems are challenged to develop and implement a curriculum that nurtures children to grow up as responsible citizens.

Learning to read, write and count (cognitive skills) are not enough; learners need to also acquire socio-emotional (or soft) skills.

The role of education goes beyond socio-economic and political development. It should play a key role in addressing challenges such as crises and conflicts, drug and substance abuse, violence, corruption and environmental changes.

David Blunkett, former British Home Secretary and also Secretary of State for Education and Employment, said: “It is essential that we do more to help young people to develop a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities as citizens in a modern democracy and equip them better to deal with the difficult moral and social questions that arise in their lives and in society.”

Citizenship is core in the curriculum. At the Early Years level, it is a key component of environmental activity learning area.

It is compulsory at the Middle School as one of the components of social studies, and at the Senior School, where it is a stand-alone learning area as history and citizenship, though optional for those in the social sciences pathway.

The best citizenship learning occurs when what is taught enables students to have an impact on the wider community and is reinforced by the culture of the school through the key community service learning. Citizenship is one of six components of the curriculum.

Citizenship education emphasises the need to develop citizens of high morals and integrity with the desired knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary for a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable society.

This will enhance and nurture a deeper and better approach in human development and guarantee prosperity and high quality of life for all in a secure and clean environment, besides peace and security.

All learning can be made contextually relevant for every learner’s holistic growth and development to become independent, confident, cooperative and inspired and focused to apply their learning to constructive contributions.

Citizenship education is one approach to address corruption and the curriculum provides a channel to promote integrity. Also, learners spend most of their formative years in school.

The new curriculum will aid the delivery of an education that will help to build learners’ resilience to corruption and mitigate the drivers of the phenomenon by nurturing and empowering the learner with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which foster responsible citizenship and ability to take action against corruption.

Ms Nyaga is the officer in charge of History & Government, Basic Education Division — Humanities Section, at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). [email protected]


Celebrate? Not me, not yet, Kipchoge says after IAAF win

By ELIAS MAKORI
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MONTE CARLO, MONACO

Eliud Kipchoge won’t be celebrating too much when he returns home today after being crowned IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year here on Tuesday night.

The world marathon record holder left Monaco last night already planning more conquests in the 2019 season, but he won’t disclose his plans just yet.

Kipchoge, 34, on Tuesday night became only the second Kenyan athlete to be voted the world’s best after world 800 metres champion David Rudisha earned the accolade in 2010, the year he lowered the two-lap race mark twice.

“I’m a low-key person. I always have a way of celebrating with my family. Don’t expect me to be paraded on top of a car to celebrate my achievements because I consider that an insult,” he told journalists in Monaco, where the annual awards gala was hosted at the Grimaldi Forum, a popular events venue here.

“I always motivate myself, and I’m always motivated to face the next season,” added the Olympic champion who lives like a monk at his training camp in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, and who has won 10 of his 11 career marathons.

Colombian jumper Caterine Ibaurguen, Kipchoge’s teammate at Dutch management company Global Sports Communication, won the IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year award.

She beat, among other nominees, Kenya’s steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech.

The year’s highlights for the Colombian were victories in the long jump and triple jump at the Central American and Caribbean Games and also at the IAAF Continental Cup, an intercontinental competition. She was unbeaten all year in her eight triple jump competitions.

Swedish world under-20 pole-vault record holder Armand Duplantis and American sprinter Sydney McLaughlin, also a world under-20 record holder, were voted the most promising male and female athletes.

Kipchoge’s long-time coach Patrick Sang, himself an Olympic steeplechase medallist, described the Kenyan champion as “a special athlete who wants to leave a legacy”.

“He is focused, disciplined and doesn’t fear pain,” Sang, who started working with Kipchoge, 34, some 18 years ago in Nandi County, said.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said Kipchoge’s win on Tuesday night at the black-tie reception in the affluent Monaco will go a long way in cleaning up Kenya’s athletics image that has been somewhat tainted by recent cases of doping.

“Eliud has brought a positive image to Kenya, particularly during this time of doping challenges in Kenya. This is a game changer and it means that not all athletes in Kenya are dopers,” Tuwei, a retired army general, said.

“We’d like to thank Eliud for showing the world that Kenya has clean athletes and they can win clean,” he added.

Kipchoge’s 2018 highlights were victory in April’s London Marathon with a time of two hours, four minutes and 17 seconds before he shattered the world record in September, running 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon.

He improved compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s previous record by 78 seconds, the biggest improvement over the 42-kilometre distance since 1967.

“The award means a lot to me,” Kipchoge said after being presented with his trophy by Prince Albert of Monaco and Seb Coe, the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

“It’s a tribute to the hard work that I’ve put in my career. I want to pass my gratitude to my family, they are my ignition key every morning when I wake up.

“Second, I want to say thank you to my coach Patrick Sang and to Global Sports Communications as they have showed me that when you believe in yourself, you can do great things. Finally a huge thanks to my sponsors Nike and NN who helped me to make it all possible, and also to members of the Fourth Estate.”

Kipchoge’s main competitors were French decathlete Kevin Mayer and American sprinter Christian Coleman. Others were Swedish European champion pole vaulter Armand Duplantis and Qatari hurdler Abderrahman Samba.


Ex-commissioner Mwachanya grilled over Sh1.7m training

By SAMWEL OWINO
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A former IEBC commissioner is on the spot for spending Sh1.7 million to attend a leadership training in London that had no relation to the commission’s work.

The four-day training at London Graduate School, that was attended by Ms Margaret Mwachanya, was fully funded by the electoral commission in April, just 12 days before she and two other commissioners resigned.

Ms Mwachanya was at pains on Wednesday to explain to the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee why the IEBC fully paid for her trip, including an air ticket and allowances for four days.

She defended the training saying her honorary doctorate was awarded due to her work in public service, not just at the electoral commission.

Ms Mwachanya added that the skills she gained at the session helped the commission in various ways, but she did not elaborate on this.

Before joining the IEBC, she served in the public service board of Taita-Taveta County and taught Kiswahili in various schools around the country.

She holds a master’s degree in Kiswahili studies from the University of Nairobi, having earned a bachelor’s degree in Kiswahili from Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

MP’s SHOCK

The former commissioner shocked the MPs when she admitted that she could not remember the name of the university that awarded her the honorary doctoral degree.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed asked, “Are you telling this committee that you cannot remember the name of the university that gave you an honorary doctoral degree after four days in April this year?”

When she was told to submit all the documents related to the training for verification, Ms Mwachanya said, “I surrendered all the documents, including the invitation letter, to the commission but I can get you a copy of the certificate that I was awarded.”

Committee chairman Opiyo Wandayi said, “[Did] The people from that university, out of the blues, just picked you out of other commissioners and gave a PhD? Was it official because this is outright abuse of officer as spelt out under Article six of the Constitution.”

Ruaraka MP TJ Mr Kajwang’ added, “This was a private issue which ought not to have been funded using taxpayers’ money.”

Mr Wandayi noted that there were several loopholes in the training as the documents the committee had are inconsistent.

Documents seen by the Nation indicate that the electoral commission paid the training fee to London Graduate School while another indicates that the training took place at Commonwealth University.

Ms Mwachanya denied that the training was personal, saying other public officers from Kenya also attended.

Mr Wandayi directed the former commissioner to furnish the committee with all documents regarding the training for verification.


Kenya Power legal officer explains why he missed tender opening

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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A Kenya Power legal officer nominated for the opening of tenders by companies applying for jobs did not participate in the exercise, the Anti-Corruption Court heard yesterday.

Mr David Makenzi, who testified before Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi on Wednesday, said he was absent when the exercise was carried out.

Mr Makenzi explained that when the tenders were opened, he had been seconded to the revenue collection department in Nairobi West.

The officer said the tenders were opened between March and June 2017.

Led in court by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti, Mr Makenzie said he learnt later that two senior managers conducted the exercise.

He said that in May, he received a letter from the audit department seeking an explanation why he did not participate despite the nomination.

The court heard, however, that on April 30 this year, he received a letter asking him to show why he did not participate in the tender opening.

Mr Makenzie testified in a case concerning the illegal allocation of tenders in the supply of transport and labour services.

Dr Ken Tarus (Managing Director), Harun Karisa (Acting General Manager, Finance), Daniel Tare (General Manager, Network Management), Daniel Muga (Acting General Manager, Supply Chain), John Njehia, James Muriuki, Benard Muturi, Evelyne Amondi and Noah Omondi have all denied the charges.

It is alleged that between April 12, 2017 and June 12 at Kenya Power offices in Nairobi, senior officials used their offices to improperly confer a benefit of Sh159,195,364 to entities which had been irregularly prequalified, vide tender No KPI/9AA-2/58/PJT/16-17.

The tender committee had three members – Mr Makenzi, Mr Bernard Githui Muturi (secretary) and Ms Everlyne Pauline Amondi (an engineer).

The three were appointed by Dr Tarus and other managers to open tenders submitted by bidders.

Out of the 1,354 applications, only 525 were pre-qualified.

Kenya Power awarded tenders to some companies which did not bid.

Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations searched the company’s offices for the audit report on the selection of companies unprocedurally pre-qualified to offer services.