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Monday, December 6, 2021

Ruto-Murathe links in Kemsa scandal

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Jubilee Party Vice chairman David Murathe has promised to ‘spill the beans’ on the probe involving a Chinese firm that won a Sh4billion tender at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).

National Assembly Public Investment Committee (PIC) had linked him to Kilig Limited, a firm under investigation in the Sh7.8 billion Kemsa procurement scam.

Murathe has agreed that he will appear before the Abdulswamad Nassir-led committee to clarify his alleged involvement with the company that he was just a ‘guarantor’ and did not get the contract.

“I will be going to the committee on Thursday. I asked to appear in person to shed light on this matter but I was instructed to do an affidavit which is self-explanatory. I am not a beneficiary, owner, director, or shareholder at the company. I was just loaning the managers who are known to me,” said Murathe.

“What is this farce with me. I am not a signatory. This is just politics and they are making it a big deal yet the contract was cancelled. There was no procurement, delivery, or invoice raised. This committee is supposed to protect public interest in the event goods and services are overpriced or supply air.”

Murathe rubbished any links with the probe, saying he did not take part in any transactions neither is he a beneficiary, and that Kenyans will be surprised when the real culprits in the deal are unearthed.

“We might even compel the loaning bank to make public the signatories,” said Murathe.

Responding to the affidavit, Deputy President William Ruto allies bashed Murathe over his alleged links to the Chinese firm.

Led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, they flooded their social media accounts with insinuations that there was more than meets the eye on Murathe’s involvement in the multi-billion shilling Kemsa scandal.

“I am surprised that there is a Kenyan who didn’t know that Murathe is the father of corruption and tenderpreneurship. The sad news is that he is the agent. Who is the principal? Your guess is as good as mine,” posted Murkomen.

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika charged, “Murathe has been running around shouting thief, thief while all along he is the THIEF! Uhuru promised the country to take action on these Kemsa thieves, waiting to see what he will do now that the thieves are his court jesters, inner circle? A president doesn’t lie, right?”

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga termed Murathe as “untouchable”, sentiments echoed by her Kericho counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot.

“On Kemsa, the hoodlum Murathe is in his element. He has political insurance after all (sic),” said Cheruiyot.

On Thursday, Murathe testified that he had been a guarantor to Kilig Ltd, which was awarded a Sh4 billion tender by Kemsa.

“Kilig Limited and Entech Technology Ltd only requested me to be a signatory to Kilig’s bank account to guarantee that Entec Technology Ltd as the supplier of the PPE Kits will be paid upon KEMSA effecting the anticipated payment on completion of the procurement process and I obliged,” said Murathe in a sworn affidavit.

This was months after denying any association with the company, and even dragging DP Ruto’s name into the matter when he appeared before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

He claimed Kilig’s director, Wilbroad Gachoka Gatei, had transferred his shares to associates of the deputy president.

Gatei and another associate, Zhu Jinping, formed the company in January last year only for them to transfer their shareholding to a Collins Bush Wanjala three months later in April.

“The public is thankful to MPs for their expose of this David Murathe linked Kilig Limited,” said former Kakamega Senator Bonnie Khalwale.

A director of Entec Technology Company wrote to a parliamentary committee detailing that he had approached Murathe owing to his standing in society.

“I knew David Murathe and Willbroad Gatei know each other and that Murathe is a respectable high-standing member of society,” said Chen Chao, Entec’s director.

“In order to further safeguard and guarantee Entec’s receivables under the supply contract and protect Entec’s investment, I requested David Murathe to be a guarantor for this transaction,” he added.

Lawmakers from the Public Investments Committee accused Murathe of influencing the Sh4 billion tender, terming him a big fish in the Kemsa scandal.

They were making reference to shadowy figures behind some companies that secured business with Kemsa.

In August last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta granted the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) 21 days to conduct investigations into the Kemsa scandal.

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