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Treasury speaks out on Uhuru’s sister seeking tenders as a ‘disadvantaged person’

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Tuesday defended government departments under pressure for classifying well-to-do women as disadvantaged in awarding multimillion tenders.

Mr Rotich said that all the women had the right to do business with government and that they should not be discriminated based on their status in life.

The CS spoke following controversy over who should benefit from the 30 per cent of all government tenders that have been set aside specifically for women, youth and persons with disabilities.

The programme launched by the Jubilee government and which has been put in law is dubbed the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities, popularly known as AGPO.

Mr Rotich said in the government’s definition, all the three groups were disadvantaged.

HAVE A RIGHT

“We do not differentiate who in the three categories is disadvantaged. As it stands, all of them are disadvantaged and have a right to do business with government,” Mr Rotich said at a breakfast meeting in a Nairobi hotel Tuesday.

Mr Rotich’s defence after revelations that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s close relatives had their company registered as disadvantaged.

The opposition and government critics have said that giving contracts to the high ranking women in society was against the spirit of the law.

They argue that the tenders should only be given to those of lower standing in society and not the well-to-do women who are already well-established as in itself will be discriminating against an already disadvantaged group.

The Tuesday briefing by Mr Rotich was about a meeting of top government officials, multinationals and donors that will be held from November 28-December 1 in Nairobi at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

The meeting will take stock on development cooperation over the next 15 years globally. The Nairobi meeting comes after a 2014 high-level meeting held in Mexico City.

Over 3,000 people are expected with representatives from governments, global multinationals, and donor companies.

Mr Rotich said that Kenya will also use the meeting to introduce Kenya’s flagship agenda for women and youth empowerment.

“The meeting will come up with an outcome document that will help us as we head to the achievement of the World 2030 Agenda,” Mr Rotich told a breakfast meeting Tuesday at a Nairobi Hotel.