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NYS suspect Ben Gethi altered 2013 elections tender document, court told

A suspect in Sh791 million National Youth Service (NYS) scandal allegedly altered a Sh127 million tender document for the supply of 28,000 lanterns used in the last polls, anti-graft court heard on Tuesday.

A former strategies and monitoring manager at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr Michael Douglas Oyalo, told senior principal magistrate Lawrence Mugambi that tender documents presented by Mr Ben Gethi Wangui and Ms Joyce Makena had been altered.

Both Mr Gethi and Ms Makena are directors of Solarmark Technologies which bid for the supply of lanterns for use during the 2013 polls at a cost of Sh127,400,000.

But documents tabled before Mr Mugambi by a senior assistant director of public prosecutions Warui Mungai showed that the tender documents and the register of IEBC on tendering varied.

Testifying against Mr Gethi, Ms Makena and six others, Mr Oyalo told the magistrate that tender documents which were opened by the IEBC tender committee indicated that Solarmark was the lowest bidder having quoted that it would supply 3,750 units of lanterns totalling to 28,000 at a cost of Sh105,400,000.

But in the IEBC tender register, Solarmark indicated it would supply the lanterns at a cost of Sh127,400,000.

Another company — Connections systems — according to the register, indicated that it was to supply the lanterns at Sh107,400,000.

Mr Oyalo said he does not know how Solarmark’s figure changed from Sh127,400,000 to Sh105,400,000.

Both Mr Gethi and Ms Makena have denied charges of altering tender documents and also presenting a false Tax Compliance Certificate issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Mr Oyalo said when he was appointed to chair the tender committee for the supply of election materials required for the 2013 general poll, the bidder who won the supply of lanterns was Solarmark Technologies having quoted the lowest figure of Sh105,400,000 during his cross examination.

He added that when he was later summoned to record a statement at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices, he learnt that Solarmark had allegedly altered the quotation in its tender documents.

The court heard that Connections Systems had complained to the EACC that it had made the lowest bid while Solarmark unlike the Sh127,400,000 by Solarmark.

The IEBC case was adjourned to May 30, this year.

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