The Galana-Kulalu project at the Coast could have been derailed by an intricate web of cartels seeking to control its multi-billion shilling expenditure reports the people daily of 5th Jan 2016.
The consultancy for pre-feasibility study and designs was inflated from the initial Sh793 million to Sh920 million.
Questions were also raised about some alleged dubious procurement of at least 50 companies which were to carry out bush clearing and other preparatory activities to the tune of Sh400 million.
According to official records at NIB , the estimates indicated the farm and irrigation system was to take up to Sh3.5 billion of the Sh14.5 billion model project, knowledge and logistics centre (Sh3.8 billion), piping (Sh846 million), operations and maintenance (Sh3.4 billion) and taxes (Sh2.3 billion).
Lucrative tender “The project was hijacked by interested parties and degenerated into a cash-cow,” an insider intimated. A lucrative tender was awarded to twin Israeli firms Green Arava and Agri-Green at a cost of Sh14.5 billion.
Green Arava, the parent company of Agri-Green Consulting undertook a Sh920 million consultancy on the irrigation technologies for the project.
The sacked NIB General Manager Engineer Daniel Baraza declined to comment to the said allegations when he was contacted on phone states the newspaper. Among the contracts awards that raised questions were Enwag Company (Sh8.4 million), Techno Brain (Sh10.5 million), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, (Sh3.2 million) and Services & Computer Industries Kenya Ltd (Sh6.5 million).
On August 15 last year, NIB awarded the Sh15.5 billion contract to Green Arava Limited, the Israeli conglomerate, for the establishment of a 10,000-acre model farm.
The letter of offer was issued on August 8, 2014 with pre-contract negotiations taking place the following day, two days to the deadline for the submission of tender documents. The opening of the documents was done the same day.
“There was no reasonable alternative competent contractor to implement the design of the model farm other than the sister company of the lead design consultant. There was urgent need to engage the contractor in order to produce maize crop to mitigate the looming hunger,” a copy of the award of the direct tender dated August 15, 2014 reads in part.
Engineer Barasa who was sacked mid this year has now declared his candidature for the Busia gubernatorial position come 2017 under the Jubilee ticket.