EACC targets 42 firms in irregular Prisons tender probe

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has written to the Correctional Services department seeking to investigate 42 companies involved in supplies at Kenya Prisons.

In a letter written on June 26 seen by the Sunday Nation, the EACC wants original documents relating to tenders and payments for the supply of foodstuffs.

The documents relate to procurement plans, budgets, payment vouchers,  membership of tender committees, list of bidders and due diligence reports, among others.

“In addition to the aforementioned records, also avail (sic) to us the original conflict of interest register for the said period,” reads the letter.

Sources said some of the companies are associated with influential individuals in the department.


This comes even as it emerged that the department is yet to pay Sh6 billion it owes suppliers following a Cabinet directive earlier this year.

Suppliers have been seeking answers from the ministry on the delay of the payments to no avail.

Some 2,900 suppliers are demanding Sh6.2 billion for items delivered to prisons between 2009 and June 2018.

State Department for Correctional Services PS Zeinab Hussein had frozen the payments, citing audits showing that the business was “irregular” or “illegal”.

On March 19, the Cabinet was briefed on the status of outstanding payments at the Prisons Department and the National Youth Service. It resolved to set up a Sh14 billion special fund to pay genuine suppliers.

Barely a week later, on March 25, while addressing the nation on the state of coronavirus pandemic President Uhuru Kenyatta directed all ministries and departments to pay at least of Sh13 billion of the verified pending bills within three weeks.

In May, as a follow-up to the Cabinet decision, Ms Hussein advertised for all supplies to provide all procurement papers for perusal.

“This is the final verification exercise and there will be no other.

This involves those bills declared by the stations and to the National Treasury. All claimants must bring all the documents listed after this schedule. Failure to bring any document will lead to non-verification of your bills.


“The State department intends to pay all bills that are verified by June 30, 2020,” read the public notice.

The exercise ran from May 20 to June 5.

The verification was for the bills carried over from the 2011/12 to 2017/18 financial years.

“We are now at also on what to do, we have done our part and the government is yet to pay us.

“We understand now, as per the government regulations, the earliest we can be paid is in September. It shows not even Cabinet decisions are respected anymore,” said a supplier who sought anonymity.

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