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AfDB bans Kenya Power contractor over graft

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AfDB bans Kenya Power contractor over graft


African Development Bank headquarters. PHOTO | COURTESY

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Summary

  • Kenya Power’s plan for subsidised connection of homes to the national grid dubbed The Last Mile Project aims at extending the low voltage system throughout the country.
  • The latest phase of the project was expected to connect about 300,000 customers pushing the household with access to electricity to above 1.5 million.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has banned Kenya-based CP Power East Africa Limited and its part-owner Dawit Wondwossen from its projects after the company was found to have engaged in fraudulent practices in Kenya and Uganda.

The debarment was announced on Wednesday but is effective from November 4, 2021, and will last for 48 months.

“An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that CP Power East Africa Limited, and Mr Dawit Wondwossen, engaged in fraudulent practices in the context of two separate tenders,” the Pan African financier said in a statement.

“… namely, a tender for the procurement of plant design, supply and installation of medium voltage networks and last mile-connections under the Uganda Rural Electricity Access Project; and a tender for the procurement of supply and extension of low voltage single phase lines and services cables under the Last Mile Connectivity Project – Phase II in Kenya.”

Kenya Power’s #ticker:KPLC plan for subsidised connection of homes to the national grid dubbed The Last Mile Project aims at extending the low voltage system throughout the country so that counties with low electricity penetration rates benefit the most.

The latest phase of the project was expected to connect about 300,000 customers pushing the household with access to electricity to above 1.5 million.

The debarment renders the company and its affiliates ineligible to participate in AfDB-financed projects during the four-year period.

The AfDB noted the move qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group.

The international financial institutions, which are mostly owned and financed by governments, have been keen to curb corruption in their projects which runs into billions of dollars annually.

CP Power East Africa adds to the list of Kenyan firms that have been banned by international institutions over unethical practices.

Nearly 20 Kenya-based companies have been blacklisted by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in less than two years over fraud and quality concerns in projects funded by the multilateral lenders.

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