The Cabinet Secretary for Transport James Macharia has appointed bribe-taking Engineer Silas Kinoti as the Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA)
Eng. Kinoti, who has been in the position in an acting capacity, has been mentioned in many scandals from capture of the state agency, taking kickbacks to issue tenders, conflict of interest, and approving shoddy works done by shady engineering firms belonging to his friends.
The many cases of procurement malpractice, shoddy works, shady contracts and looting of KURA has not even moved Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) to act. Many sources say that the DG had pocketed EACC officials.
During Silas Kinoti’s reign, the authority has been accused of giving tenders to cronies, then advertising it for formalities, in one open incident, a Chinese firm was found to be carrying out works yet the tender evaluation was still ‘ongoing’.
The tender advert number KURA/RMLF/UE/060/2019 – 2020; titled Periodic Maintenance of Lot 13 Roads In Isiolo County has already been awarded and the construction/maintenance or renovation of the said roads was ongoing even when the tender was advertised in August 19, 2019.
The people who responded to the above tender were just used to rubberstamp the process, because there is no way a tender opening which took an entire day was evaluated and awarded i.e. was taken to Nairobi brought back to Meru passed all legal and procurement requirements, awarded and signed; and a letter of commencement given on the same day.
In the second instance of corruption and impunity, a contractor, Eden Homes Limited carried out works of tender number KURA/DEV/HQ/233/2017 – 2018 for the Sewer and Water relocation project valued at over Ksh420 million given to them past the contract period.
Ideally, in contractual terms, a firm must complete a given piece of work within the term failure to which they should ask for an extension which when extended, must be accompanied by a contract extension document. Eden Homes Limited and KURA officials colluded to continue working without such an arrangement.
The other illegality is that Eden Homes Limited got an extension of over 150 days, yet their work was shoddy and warranted a cancellation.
There’s a cost to all these missed deadlines, but when one is working for KURA as a contractor, they can expect that to go away. KURA’s Director-General Engineer Silas One just needs to grease the palms of the acting Director-General Kinoti.
“Kinoti is greedy mad, he takes bribes right-left and center. Looting everywhere and everything’, said a source.
Eden Homes Ltd got their extension through a letter signed by another acting looter, Engineer Daniel G. Muchiri, who is the Acting Director for Urban Roads Planning and Design.
Eden Homes subcontracted some work thereby flouting the law more.
The third case is that which Kenya Urban Roads Authority favoured a construction firm named Stecol Corporation to do SH19 billion works in Nairobi, Kajiado and Kiambu counties. What surprised many is the luck this firm has with KURA tenders.
Stecol Corporation has been involved in upgrading of Outering Road. It has also been mentioned in the construction of a bridge at AllSops that will join Outering Road and Thika Superhighway. The firms was also awarded most of the contracts in the so-called regeneration of 38 roads in Nairobi Eastlands.
The fourth scandal at KURA is one involving Regnolds Construction Company (RCC). The firm won the important Sh4.26 billion Eastern missing link roads project. The project, the Enterprise-Likoni road junction project stalled for over 5 years, denying the country a lot of revenues in wasted time at traffic jams, until recently when the construction commenced again.
An informed source says that RCC won the lucrative tender despite the fact that it had not done any road project in Kenya. To favour RCC, the crooked EU officials and a section from Kura had been compromised by SBI International based in Switzerland. RCC is said to be a partner with SBI.
Surprisingly, the Nigeria firm was paid upfront for the project by Kura. EU had given a grant of Sh3.4 billion to upgrade 16 kilometres roads in Industrial Area. Kura cartel are said to have been bribed by RCC directors to facilitate payments.
A source at EU revealed that they are investigating why Kura decided to pay upfront for the project that has not been completed and if a section of their staff are linked to the scandal.
The fifth case of graft and abuse of office is the matter in which DG Silas Kinoti is accused of bribing EACC officials with gifts such as cars, houses and money.
Through proxy firms, EACC officials also win tenders at KURA.
These are those scandals overseen by Silas Kinoti that are in the open, many more are hidden as Kenyans, especially in the important capital city of Nairobi continue to jump over sewers, drive over potholes and waste time in traffic due to missing road or bad roads.
The protests over Kasarani – Mwiki road was not a surprise at all. No work has been undertaken to date yet the residents, most of whom were teargassed, some killed, had credible grievances.
It had been analysed in the past that KURA also colludes with property firms to skew the distribution of roads, and roads repair to upmarket areas where people are lied to that they can buy squeezed apartments at sh20 million each.