Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and his wife Susan arrive at Milimani Law Courts on July 29, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kiambu paid over Sh18m to Waititu’s wife and daughters
The wife and daughters of embattled Kiambu County Governor Ferdinand Waititu were awarded tenders worth nearly Sh20 million within one-and-a-half years of his getting into office, new documents seen by the Nation have revealed.
Five companies directly owned by Mr Waitutu’s wife Susan Wangari Ndung’u and their two daughters, Monica Njeri Ndung’u and Diana Wangoko Ndung’u, did business with the county government worth Sh18,871,398 between October 2017 and March this year.
The companies in question are Suwanga Ltd, Modiba Ltd, Beedee Management Services Ltd, Connex Logistics Ltd, and Bins Management Services Ltd.
Three of the companies were registered after Mr Waitutu came into office, while one was registered two months before his election as governor.
Bins Management Services Ltd was registered in 2010.
The governor did not respond to our repeated requests for comment on the matter, which constitutes a clear case of conflict of interest on his part.
On Thursday, he sent a brief SMS saying: “Get the proper details with evidence.”
The new revelations will most likely increase pressure on Mr Waititu, who is facing corruption and conflict of interest charges together with his wife in relation to a Sh588 million tender.
To add to his miseries, the county assembly impeached him on Thursday while the Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a High Court ruling barring him and, by extension, three other governors who are facing corruption charges, from accessing their offices until their cases are heard and determined.
The contracts won by firms owned by the governor’s close family members appear to offend Section 66 (8A) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015, which deals with general procurement and asset disposal principles.
The section states: “For the purpose of this section, a person has a conflict of interest with respect to a procurement if the person or a relative of the person seeks, or has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in another person who seeks, a contract for the procurement.”
Suwanga Ltd was registered on June 9, 2017, two months before Mr Waititu unseated Governor William Kabogo from the Kiambu gubernatorial seat during the August 7, 2017 General Election.
Documents held at the Registrar of Companies indicate that the governor’s wife is the sole shareholder in the company, whose office is indicated as National Petrol Station along Kangundo Road.
On October 16, 2017, the county government invited the company to submit a quotation for a bid to construct a public toilet at the Kiambu matatu stage. It submitted a bid of Sh3,999,835, which was paid on January 30, 2018, according to a payment voucher dated the same day.
On the other hand, Modiba Management Services Ltd was registered on November 1, 2017 and Mr Waitutu’s daughter, Monica Ndung’u, is listed as its sole shareholder.
The company shares the same postal address in Buruburu with Suwanga Ltd while its physical office is indicated as Plot 219 along Kangundo Road.
The company was on November 29, 2017 invited by the county to submit a quote for supplying 30 tyres. It quoted Sh874,000, which was paid a week later, on December 6, 2017.
Beedee Management Services Ltd was registered on the same day as Modiba Management Services Ltd and they share the same postal and physical address.
What varies is the directorship of the two firms, with the governor’s other daughter, Diana Ndung’u, listed as the sole shareholder and director of Beedee.
In March 2018, the company won a tender to supply seven skip bins (a large open-topped waste container designed for loading onto a special type of lorry) at a cost of Sh1,750,000.
In October of the same year, it was awarded a second tender for hiring an excavator for 95 hours at Sh10,000 per hour at Gitamaiyu quarry in Murera Ward. It was paid Sh950,000 for this service, according to a payment voucher dated December 4, 2018.
As lovers worldwide were enjoying last year’s Valentine’s Day, on February 14, Connex Logistics came into being with its registered sole shareholder being Governor Waitutu’s wife.
Documents held by the registrar indicate that the firm’s physical address is Room 104 at Commerce House on Moi Avenue, Nairobi.
The company was registered in Kiambu County as a general supplier on June 20, 2018, according to a letter by Dr J Kinoti, the director of Supply Chain Management in the county.
Curiously, in March, two months before it was shortlisted as a supplier in Kiambu County, it won a tender to supply 32 pieces of size 235/85 R16 tyres for a total of Sh1,321,600.
In October last year, the company won a tender to supply 36 batteries for grounded county government vehicles at a cost of Sh468,400.
On Christmas eve of the same year, it was awarded a tender to supply 12 tyres for the county government’s graders at a cost of Sh2,491,680, which it was paid a month later.
Perhaps to increase chances of winning the tender, Connex bid for the tender together with Beedee, which quoted Sh2,508,000. Another bidder, Tenks Link Limited quoted Sh2,550,000.
In January this year the firm was awarded a tender to supply 16 N70 batteries for fire and rescue service vans in the county for a total of Sh208,000 and in March it also supplied 24 tyres for a county government vehicle registration number GKA 637L at a cost of Sh913,600.
Bins Management Services was registered on August 19, 2010, and documents held by the Registrar of companies as of June 21, 2017 indicate that its shareholders were Mr Waitutu’s wife and their daughter Monica Ndung’u, each with 500 shares in the firm.
Mr Joseph Ogola is listed as a shareholder but with zero shares. A recent search in October lists Ruth Mumbi Ndung’u and Johnson Mwangi Kimani as equal co-owners of the firm.
In May last year, the company won a tender to supply the county government with assorted medical items, among them first aid kits, heavy duty gloves and raincoats, among others, at a cost of Sh1,761,083. In October of the same year, it won a tender to supply seven skip bins at a cost of Sh1,750,000.
It also won a tender to supply tyres for several graders, a Massey Ferguson tractor and two New Holland backhoe loaders at a cost of Sh2,383,200 in February this year.
The company was included in the list of suppliers and service providers in Kiambu County on November 19, 2018, under the disadvantaged group, according to a letter of notification by Dr Kinoti.
“I am pleased to inform you that Kiambu County Government registered you as a general supplier as per the attached AGPO (Access to Government Procurement Opportunities) (Women) certificate,” wrote Dr Kinoti. “Congratulation, we are looking forward to quality service from you and working with you,” the letter read.
On July 13, 2017, the company was first registered under the disadvantaged groups category, which allowed them to get preferential treatment in the awarding of public tenders.
Three days later, it was registered as a supplier and service provider of the county under the AGPO Certificate for a period of two years.
In February this year, the county government asked the firm to submit a quotation for the supply of 100 skip bins for use in Karuri, Kikuyu, Thika, Ruiru, and Limuru municipalities.
The firm responded with an offer price of Sh32,850,000, but we could not immediately establish if the bid went through since it was around the same time that Mr Waititu’s woes began.
Mr Waitutu’s wife signed the acceptance letter as the director of the firm.