Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managing director Daniel Manduku has moved to the High Court seeking orders to stop his arrest and prosecution over alleged fraud.
In the suit, Manduku has accused the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) of conducting malicious, illegal, discriminatory and selective investigations against him and a few port managers over the execution of projects authorised by Cabinet Secretaries and the state’s multi-agency teams.
He also wants the DCI and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) stopped from issuing press statements about these investigations accusing them of waging a hostile media campaign against him as if he is already guilty.
Manduku through his lawyer James Orengo has sought interim orders stopping Inspector General of Police (IG), DPP and DCI from arresting and prosecuting him.
According to documents filed in court, the DCI has pressed 22 possible charges against Manduku and two others in relation to the procurement of various port projects that are underway in Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi.
Besides Manduku, the DCI has recommended prosecution of Anthony Muhanji and Juma Chigulu, Mathews Ondiek Amuti, William Kimabwai Tenay, Aza Nassir Dzengo, Ali Mwinjaka, Tom Onyango Okeyo, Joseph Safarry Kingwagu.
Among the charges that have been, they face include conspiracy to defraud Sh1.4 billion through irregular issuance of purchase orders and declaration of bills of quantities for the manufacture of 17, 940 pieces of concrete barriers, abuse of office and engaging in procurement without an approved budget.
It is said that Manduku between on March 27 and August 23, 2019, KPA headquarters within Mombasa County failed to ensure that there was a procurement plan for manufacture of 17, 940 pieces of concrete barrier with a total concrete sum of Sh1, 420, 730, 727.
Manduku is said to have influenced the Head of Procurement and Suppliers Department Antony Kawamah Nyamancha to award works for the manufacture of 17, 940 pieces of concrete barriers to his preferred contractors.
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The DCI investigations arose out of the KPA execution of executive and ministerial orders in regard to the revitalisation of Kisumu Port, the construction of the Makongeni shed and construction of concrete barriers for various parts in the country under the supervision of the national government.
But in an application certified urgent before Judge Eric Ogola, Orengo sought interim orders restraining the IG, DPP and DCI from arresting, arraigning in court, charging and prosecuting Manduku.
“We seek this court’s conservatory orders restraining the DCI, DPP and IG from otherwise instituting criminal proceedings against Manduku on the basis of the impugned investigations and recommendations of the DPP and DCI, until this petition is heard and determined,” said Orengo.
Orengo also sought orders stopping DIC, DPP and IG from issuing any adverse, improper and inaccurate statements to the media against his client.
“An order of stay be and is hereby granted of any criminal charges and proceedings instituted against Manduku during the pendency of this application and petition until it is heard and determined,” said Orengo.
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Orengo said that they are not seeking to stop investigations from proceeding to its conclusion.
However, Justice Ogola declined to issue any interim orders until the application was heard inter-parties.
The judge certified the matter as urgent and directed that both parties be served and be heard on December 2.
“I have carefully considered the submissions of Orengo and I am convinced the issues raised are indeed urgent, but I will not give any interim orders until the inter-parties hearing. I, therefore, certify the motion urgent and direct all parties be served,” said Justice Ogola.
Manduku through a sworn affidavit said he has been the target of unfair, un-procedural and flawed investigations for alleged procurement-related offences and that the DIC, IG and DPP have recommended his prosecution based on impugned investigations.
He said the said works were executed by KPA in collaboration with a host of other public ministries, agencies, bodies and entities including the Ministry of National Treasury and Planning, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Public Works Department.
Orengo said the work was done in obedience to exigent executive and ministerial orders and in accordance with applicable laws.
“It is only KPA and a few of their staff members including Manduku that have been singled out for investigations by the DPP and DCI leaving out other government institutions involved in the procurement, planning and execution of the said works,” said Orengo.
He said that the DPP and DCI had assumed the authority and mandate of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as conferred on it by the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003 by purporting to investigate corruption-related and economic crimes.
Orengo said that the DPP, DCI and IG were in breach of the national values and principles of governance for failing to adhere to the rule of law and to be accountable and transparent in the investigations and intended prosecution of Manduku.
Orengo told the court that DPP, DCI and IG have subjected him to administrative action that is unfair, inefficient and unlawful through non-disclosure of all relevant facts and denying Manduku the right to present his case.
“The DPP and DCI have mounted a scurrilous media campaign against Manduku, publicizing the investigations against him and the recommendations to charge him thus denying him the right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved,” said Orengo.
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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.