Murathe, Waqo names were invoked in Kemsa PPE scam

Friday, September 24th, 2021 00:00 |
Jubilee Party Vice-Chairman David Murathe.

Two companies involved in the Kemsa Covid-19 equipment supply scandal invoked the names of Jubilee Party vice-chairman David Murathe and former Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) chief executive officer, Halake Waqo to win tenders without their consent.

The Public Investments Committee (PIC) in its findings observes that the directors of Kilig Ltd, which was one of the suppliers, presented Murathe as one of its directors.

“It was not clear to the committee the powers or influence Murathe wielded to an extent that he could be enjoined as a signatory to an account he had no beneficial interest,” states the committee which is chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir.

The committee in its findings states that Kilig Ltd account at Equity Bank was opened ostensibly to receive the proceeds of supply of PPEs to Kemsa.

“Of curiosity is the inclusion of Murathe as a signatory to the account in what was stated as to secure guarantee and secure payment from Kemsa after supply of PPEs,” reads the report.

During the hearing, Murathe told the committee he has never been involved in the business dealings of Kilig and Entec Technology, the two firms at the heart of the Sh.7.8 billion Kemsa scandal.

Kilig Ltd had been awarded to supply 450,000 PPEs valued at Sh4.5 billion. The tender was however cancelled.

In its findings, the committee noted it was clear Ivy Onyango, Willbroad Gachoka and Zhu Jinping, a Chinese national, owned Kilig Ltd.

Bought shares

Onyango bought shares formerly owned by Collins Wanjala, a son of Bundalangi MP Raphael Wanjala who is a member of the committee.

Murathe’s name only featured when the tender was awarded and the directors went looking for an individual to guarantee it.

Murathe maintained he was only requested to be a signatory to Kilig’s bank account so that Entec Technology Limited, the PPE kit’s supplier, would be compensated once Kemsa completed the procurement process.

He was asked to explain how he gave a guarantee without knowing the amount of money involved.

Murathe stated he only guaranteed the supply of 50,000 PPE kits provided by Entec to Kilig for supply to Kemsa.

“The use of the word guarantee was not contractual, it was simply a word of comfort that yes, I do know these people,” Murathe said “I am not and never been involved in the business of Kilig or Entec, I had no way of influencing Kemsa to pay.”

Not director

When he appeared before the committee, Murathe vehemently denied being a director of the company whose directorship was at the centre of legal queries.

 “I am not the director of Kilig, I did not receive a contract from Kemsa, and I did not supply Kemsa,” Murathe explained.

“The fact that I guaranteed them does not mean I was to benefit anything, I was facilitating a friend to do business, it does not mean I was doing it for benefit,” Murathe said.

 “I have paid bail for people, and when I get it from the court, I do not tell the people to pay me back,”

In Waqo’s case, the committee observed the former anti-graft Tsar was not a shareholder, proprietor or a director of Azure Commercial Services now or in the past.

The committee heard that the company was introduced to Waqo by an officer of First Community Bank and thereafter approached by its directors who had secured an order to supply masks.

“Halake was approached to engage in a partnership for financial and resource mobilization in order to enable Azure to successfully supply the referenced items,” notes the committee.

At the process of the loan processing, the bank advised that Waqo become an additional signatory to the accounts of Azure in order to strengthen the guarantee and security of the money.

“After the goods were supplied they were paid in full and the bank then effected the recovery of the loan amount as per the agreement and the security documents released back to Halake,” the report states.

A director of Entec Technology Ltd which was to supply the PPEs to Kilig had told the committee that Murathe used his influence to help his company to win the tender.

Chen Chao, a Chinese national, who is a director of Entec Technology Ltd, told the committee that he knew Murathe and his “co-director” Gachoka.

“Murathe is a respectable high-standing member of society in Kenya and that in order to further safeguard and guarantee Entec’s receivables under the supply contract and protector investment, I requested him to be a guarantor for this transaction by being a mandatory signatory together with me in the Kilig Ltd account in Equity Bank,” Chao said in a sworn affidavit.

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