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DCI wants Sonko, City Hall to shed light on dubious tenders

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has launched a probe into multibillion-shilling tenders in the Nairobi County government.

The agency said it suspects fraud involving payments made to Noveta Ltd, AAR Insurance Kenya, the refurbishment of Pumwani Maternity Hospital and casual workers.

“The county government may have fraudulently made the payments between 2017 and 2019,” DCI investigating officer John Kariuki said in a December 17 letter.

The agency wants officers involved in the payments and tender awards to record statements and provide information on what has been flagged as illegal.

In the letter addressed to County Secretary Simon Leboo ole Morintat, the DCI wants Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko’s administration to furnish it with budget approvals for the said projects workers’ pay.

The devolved unit should also provide tender invitation, preparations and submissions, opening and evaluation and tender committee minutes relating to the companies.

This is in addition to the award of contracts, including preparations, deliveries and inspections.

Lastly, the county government officials should furnish DCI detectives with copies of local purchase orders, payment vouchers and any other relevant information.

“In addition to provision of the above, we request you to assign officers who have knowledge of the projects to assist with information on their roles,” Mr Kariuki said.

City Hall began renovating Pumwani in 2018, with Mr Sonko announcing plans to build a 10-storey wing which would be next to the existing hospital.

It was to be a 450-bed maternity hospital.

“My administration started renovating the hospital as we wait for modernisation… to improve the quality of maternal care,” the governor said on November 1, 2018.

Noveta came into light when City Hall announced it would contract it and National Bank of Kenya to help in revenue collection.

This came after the devolved government parted ways with JamboPay in June.

City Hall launched a new unstructured supplementary service data with a short code *235# to pay for services.

Initially, payment indicated that it was powered by Noveta but the confirmation later mysteriously disappeared.