By John Ondimu
Two companies associated with the Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Bare Duale were awarded two contracts worth Sh400 million by the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) whose top managers are being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Nation can reveal.
Concordia Building and Civil Engineering Limited and Nomad Palace Hotel Limited were awarded the tenders at a time when the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs chaired by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga had put pressure on EACC to investigate GDC and its Managing Director Silas Simiyu, who was later suspended, over inflated costs of transportation of power plant equipment to the tune of Sh1.7 billion.
Before the issue landed before the Legal Affairs Committee, EACC had initiated investigations to establish how GDC offered Bonfide Clearing and Forwarding a contract in 2012 to move geothermal rigs and other equipment in 40 lots with each costing Sh42 million within a distance of 11 kilometres, bringing the worth of the entire deal to Sh1.7 billion.
Mr Simiyu, who also appeared in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s “list of shame” in March, has had investigations against him going on.
There have also been claims of arbitrary promotion of staff at the beleaguered corporation which is considered a key component of the Jubilee Government’s plan to generate more electricity.
GDC is a parastatal under the Ministry of Energy.
Its Cabinet Secretary David Chirchir has also been suspended over separate corruption allegations.
The Legal Affairs Committee had moved to unplug the investigations, which had been going on at EACC for about two years with no end in sight.
According to documents seen by the Nation, Concordia Building and Civil Engineering Ltd and Nomad Palace Hotel Ltd were awarded the contracts on the same day.
Their contracts with GDC are dated August 4, 2014 to partition a GDC office and supply food to the corporation.
The two companies share post office address 126, Garissa.
Concordia’s Certificate of Incorporation is NDC 144127, given by SM Ndisya for the Registrar of Companies.
When the company was founded, the directors were listed as Mr Aden Duale and Mr Abdi Yakub Duale.
However, records at the Registrar of Companies show that a month after Concordia got the contract to partition the GDC office in Nairobi’s South C, the directorship of the company changed to Mr Abdi Yakub Duale and Marian Mohamed Hassan.
According to minutes of Concordia dated September 12, 2014 and attended by Aden Bare Duale, Abdi Yakub Duale and Marian Mohammed Hassan, along with lawyer Fredrick Orego, the Majority Leader resigned as director and transferred his shares to Marian Mohamed Hassan.
The minutes lodged at the Registrar were supported by an affidavit signed by the Garissa MP.The changes saw Abdi Yakub Duale given 699 shares while Marian Mohammed Hassan got one share.
Mr Duale, the most senior Jubilee leader in the National Assembly, declined to comment on the apparent conflict of interest and simply told the Nation to go ahead and publish the story.
“Why should I confirm that story many (sic) brought for other purposes, go ahead,” said Mr Duale through an SMS.
According to an award letter to Concordia and signed by Mr Simiyu, the partitioning contract will cost Sh186 million.
“This is to notify you that Geothermal Development Company has awarded you the above tender at your total tendered price of Sh185,743.484.50 inclusive of 16 per cent VAT and 8 per cent professional fees.
This offer is subject to your acceptance within seven days from the date thereof.
Upon acceptance, a contract shall be signed within thirty days of this letter but not earlier than fourteen days,” says Mr Simiyu in a letter dated August 6, 2014.
Nomad Palace Hotel Limited also secured another contract to supply food to 150 GDC employees working at Menengai geothermal rigs 5, 6 and 7.
The contract was signed by the GDC Managing Director and company secretary Praxidis Saisi while Abdi Bare Duale and Yussuf Abdullahi signed on behalf of Nomad Palace.
The two are listed as Nomad Palace Managing Director and General Manager respectively. Mr Abdi Bare Duale is also a director of Concordia.
Contract documents show that Nomad Palace Hotel was offering breakfast for Sh347 per person, 10 0’clock tea and snacks for Sh249, lunch for Sh549, dinner for Sh549, afternoon tea and snacks for 249 and a midnight meal for Sh549 amounting to Sh395,736 daily for its 150 staff.
Contract documents bind GDC to provide electricity and water to Nomad Palace Hotel during the contract period.
The Ministry of Energy, the GDC parent ministry, currently has no substantive Cabinet Secretary after Mr Chirchir was suspended.