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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

NSSF IN MULTI BILLION TENDER ROW

The NSSF has secretly tendered for two projects amounting to Sh130 billion, prompting the anti-graft agency to start investigating claims that it breached procurement rules.
This, it is understood, forced Deputy President William Ruto to order the National Social Security Fund, which manages workers’ billions, to write a detailed statement on the two projects and place it in local dailies before the end of this week.
Mr Ruto is said to have been unhappy with the manner in which projects of such magnitude were being handled without making the public know what was happening.
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli exposed the latest move by the NSSF when he warned that the fund had, through restricted tendering, invited fresh bids for the Mavoko Housing Scheme worth Sh100 billion and a Sh30 billion 62-storey tower project in the city centre last month.
ALLEGED EMBEZZLEMENT
But Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi, under whose docket NSSF falls, on Wednesday defended the joint venture projects. He argued that they were conceived way before he became minister and has since ensured all the procedures are followed.
“If you recall, I cancelled all the tendering that had been done on this because there was no Cabinet approval,” he said.
But Mr Atwoli said the NSSF was using the two multi-billion-shilling projects to embezzle workers’ funds and called for their cancellation, and prosecution of the individuals involved.
“Cotu calls for the revocation of the cited tender. Let the individuals involved be investigated for their blatant conspiracy to commit economic crimes,” he said.
An Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission official said the agency was investigating claims of breach of tendering procedures for the NSSF’s real estate investment projects to be implemented jointly with some developers.
The agency has already asked for the minute book of all board meetings on the projects.
On Wednesday, NSSF Managing Director Richard Langat said no firm had been shortlisted, contrary to reports that 15 companies had been selected for the tendering.