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Economy

PIC chairman Abdulswamad Nassir. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Parliament has ordered investigations into a secretive multimillion- shilling contract for supply of CCTV cameras involving an Israeli firm for surveillance on the new Sh48 billion Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline.

The Public Investments Committee (PIC) wants Auditor-General Edward Ouko to conduct the special inquiry after it received information that Kenya and Israel had entered into a government-to-government deal for direct procurement of the security cameras.

“Over and above the issues regarding Zakhem International Company that build the new oil pipeline from Mombasa to Nairobi, we have received another tip regarding Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC). There is an issue of procurement of cameras,” PIC chairman Abdulswamad Nassir told the committee on Thursday.

Mr Nassir said: “I am told that this deal was done recently and if its government-to-government, we need to confirm where the funds are coming from,” he said while briefing the committee.

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The cameras will enhance security in the 450km pipeline commissioned two months ago.

Construction of the pipeline, which replaces one built in 1973 that was prone to ruptures began in July 2014. Lebanon’s Zakhem International was the contractor.

PIC investigated the large cost variation by the contractor which is seeking additional Sh4.4 billion for operational delays in the building of the pipeline. The payment is yet to be approved.

Manyata MP Muchiri Nyagah said government-to-government deals have resulted into theft of public money in the past.

“This is where theft is happening. There are plenty of procurement irregularities in government-to-government arrangements,” said Mr Nyagah.

Mr Nassir said the deal runs into a couple of billions and that the Auditor-General will be able to ascertain the truth if indeed such a contract has been signed.

“We want the Auditor-General to get us preliminary findings. We are told an Israeli company is to supply and install the CCTV cameras,” he said.

“We have information that the deal was signed in Telaviv and yes there is some wave of truth that Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy went to Israel and there was single sourcing done,” he added.



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