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Why President Uhuru is Concerned about looting in Murang’a County

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(Photo: Murang’a county Governor Mwangi Wa Iria)

It was not clear why President Kenyatta bashed Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria over the excesses the county council used to invest with national government. The seemingly angry President asked Mwangi Wa Iria where the monies the county collects goes to. The President who was addressing mourners at the burial of second liberation hero and Nairobi’s first African Mayor Charles Rubia last week lynched Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria as mourners laughed uncontrollably.

“The days of these old men, (pointing at the coffin of Charles Rubia), and I know I have witnesses here, (looking around then paused). The days Murang’a county council was under the old men like Rubia, every year Murang’a county used to invest with national government since they had excess of what they needed for development projects. Where did those resources, monies go?” He asked again. “We don’t like asking ourselves such questions because we know the monies went to individuals pockets” he concluded.

President Kenyatta raised this concern at a time Benisa Limited, a firm at the centre of two separate investigations into ghost projects in Murang’a and Marsabit counties and which is associated with close allies of Murang’a county Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, is closely monitored by detectives. Will Wa Iria be the next Governor to be arrested?

Documents at the Companies’ Registry show that Benisa Limited is owned by Peter Macharia Kubai (50%), Isabellah Wairimu Kubai (25%) and Jadiel Macharia Kubai the remaining percentage. All the three are said to be business associates of Murang’a county Governor Mwangi Wa Iria.

Benisa limited is part of a network of companies the Kubai’s and Wa Iria have been accused of using to secure double payment for the same work, and in some instances no work done. It’s because of this that Benisa limited is currently being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to establish the truth behind Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s alleged violation of the public procurement law.

But as this happens, 254News has established that since government procurement laws demand that all tenders above Sh4 million be subjected to open tender and for purposes of reducing bureaucracy, those worth amounts below this can be single sourced, the Murang’a county Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has been capitalising on this to award his cronies tenders worth slightly below Sh4 million.

254News can authoritatively reveal that Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has been using majorly three companies to fleece the country dry namely, Benoni Trading Agencies, Benisa Limited and Kangema Roads and Water Company. This is because of their generosity when it comes to giving kickbacks to the Governor.

“The three companies are at the center of a prove for allegedly giving kickbacks to Mr Wa Iria to secure lucrative road repair tenders.” A source privy to the happenings revealed.

Benisa limited got 18 projects all priced slightly below Sh4 million. All were single sourcing but each of their tenders were capped at about Sh3.9 million.

254News has also established that some cases different companies were awarded tenders to undertake the same work, yet all of them were paid. On this basis alone, Benisa Limited got four tenders to do the same road, Benoni three and Kangema Roads three.

The same three companies also won a majority of the tenders in other projects that were suspiciously capped at less than Sh4 million, which raises questions as to whether this was a move to evade open tendering and allow them to be single sourced.

“Benisa Limited was paid twice to construct a single water pan at Kangutu in Kakuzi Mitubiri ward.” A source revealed.

According to documents seen by 254News, the first tender that was paid through LPO number 2835/2014 was worth Sh3.97 million while the second that was paid through LPO number 2724-2775/2 was worth Sh3.99 million.

The same water pan’s tender was awarded twice to Kangema Roads and Water Company and different payments issued for its construction.

Some Sh3.98 million was paid through LPO number 2881-85/20 and Sh3.94 paid through LPO number 2812-2813.

The controversial Benisa Limited

Just last week, Benisa Limited laid claim to 12 vehicles that are at the centre of the Sh41.5 billion dams saga which it it seeks to auction to recover debts from a botched deal with collapsed CMC Di Ravenna.

It’s reported that CMC Di Ravenna which is on its deathbed hired Benisa on May 15, 2015 as a subcontractor to do a number of works on the Itare dam project for Sh360 million.

More on CMC Di Ravenna

The Italian firm on the other hand accused Benisa of deploying inadequate staff and resources on site and terminated the contract on June 22, 2018. Benisa claimed Sh30 million for the work it had done, and sued the Italian firm on May 7, 2019.

On August 6, 2019, auctioneers hired by Benisa Limited towed the 12 vehicles from CMC Di Ravenna’s offices and threatened to sell them if the debt is not settled. The auctioneers have valued each of the pickup trucks at Sh3 million.

Anfield Auctioneers initially proclaimed 30 vehicles that CMC had bought for the Itare, Arror and Kimwarer dam projects but eventually put up 12 for auction.

According to dailies, it is reported that the vehicles are registered to CMC Di Ravenna but are at the heart of a vicious battle between the Italian firm, Barclays Bank and the DCI.

It’s reported that Barclays had planned to attach about 70 cars and equipment bought by CMC Di Ravenna, arguing that the Italian contractor used the vehicles as security for a Sh500 million loan.

Alongside Benoni Limited, Benisa is also being investigated for allegedly giving kickbacks to Mr Wa Iria to secure lucrative road repair tenders.

Good work

It’s because of the good work that Governor Mwangi Wa Iria is said to have connected Benisa Limited to his Marsabit counterpart where they were awarded a tender to construct a now stalled Marsabit Stadium. In Marsabit, Benisa Limited were paid Sh88 million with only 20 per cent of the work done.

Benisa Limited is so connected that on July 30, 2019 they obtained a default judgment in a suit it filed against CMC Di Ravenna to recover Sh31.5 million for rock blasting works it did in the Itare dam project, which has also collapsed and is at the centre of a Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) probe.

The High Court issued the judgment after CMC Di Ravenna failed to respond to a suit seeking to attach the bankrupt Italian firm’s assets to recover money owed from the rock blasting contract.

CMC Di Ravenna has asked the High Court to reject the auction on grounds that there is an order barring attachment of its assets.

Who will blink first?

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