Sonko grilled for 10 hours at EACC over graft allegations
Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has been put to task to explain the alleged role the executive wing of the Nairobi County Government played in the award and consequent payments of controversial garbage collection tenders amounting to over Sh600 million.
The governor was held for interrogation for over 10 hours by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) sleuths who sought to establish if he has any links with the directors of at least four out of the 13 companies under commission's radar.
The investigators intimated that garbage collection contracts and payments were irregularly made specifically for a period spanning two financial years, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
According to them, Sh162, 092,407 was paid to two firms for collecting garbage in areas they had not been pre-qualified for.
This is part of the Sh202, 996,053 payments to 11 firms flagged by the Nairobi County Assembly Public Accounts Committee allegedly paid without supporting payment vouchers.
Further, the office of the governor is adversely mentioned in the award of Sh278million two-year garbage collection contract in February this year to a firm registered 78 days before the controversial award of the lucrative deal against the required existence period of not less than one year.
It was further established that Aende Group was picked against three other firms in a skewed competitive bidding process and had 15 secretariat members and 52 stewards against a required 200 stewards to clean the 2km-square Nairobi central business district.
Other bidders were Creative Consolidated System, Kemnest Investment and Janel Agencies.
However, Sonko absolved his office from any wrongdoing saying he was only shedding light to investigators concerning thirteen companies contracted to undertake refuse collection in various zones in the city.
“Today, I presented myself to Eacc as a law abiding citizen as requested. I have shed light on the thirteen companies. We now leave the matter to investigators to complete the investigations,” Sonko said shortly after the interrogation session at Integrity Center.
Detectives demanded to have the contracts addendum provided stipulating the criteria and mandatory threshold qualifications ought to have been met to determine if the beneficiary firms were responsive.
Also, they want inventory records of daily garbage collection, invoices and payment vouchers against which the money was paid.
The firms contracted to collect garbage in Nairobi include Kange Construction, Yiro Enterprises, Creative Consolidated System, J W Mwangi, Tema Home Care, Nyawa Agencies, Felixilease Ltd, Vineyard Holdings, Hardi Enterprises, Jackoy Enterprises, Purlexis Enterprises, Acacia Equipment, Yiro Enterprise and Commodity Waste Management.
Sonko was summoned last Friday by the EACC head of investigations Mohamud Abdi, but instead said he would be available on Tuesday (today) due to unavoidable circumstances.
City hall is still entangled in a deeply entrenched and web-threaded vicious cartels that include high ranking politicians, government officials and lawyers have continued to call shots.
Majorly, the well networked group fleecing public coffers through unverified and exaggerated garbage tonnage are said to be in full control procurement, finance and the audit departments at City Hall offices to ensure firm grip of the lucrative refuse collection deals.
In a clear manifestation of the millions minted through trash collection, Sonko, just like his predecessor Evans Kidero blacklisted the previous private garbage collection firms and enlisted new ones.