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Taxpayers paid Sh625m extra for speedy delivery of ferries



Taxpayers paid Sh300
million extra to fast track the completion of MV Jambo, which President Uhuru
Kenyatta launched days to the August 7, 2017 General Election.

The government ordered
the ferry constructed and imported fast, citing challenges at the Likoni
link channel in Mombasa.

The government
also incurred another Sh325 million demanded by the supplier “for the delay of the
contract” after the court suspended the construction of the second ferry, MV
Safari, for several months.

Transport PS Esther
Koimet and Kenya Ferries Services MD Baraka Gowa made the revelations yesterday
when they appeared before the National Assembly Transport Committee.

Koimet told the committee
chaired by Pokot South MP David Pkosing that MV Jambo was imported in July 2017,
seven nine months early, after government’s order that the process be fast-tracked.

“We paid Sh300
million ferries so that the ferry could be completed fast. Our plan was to complete
the MV Jambo ready nine months early and MV Safari six months early,” Gowa said.

The MD said they
expected to import MV Safari by November 2017 but the process was delayed after
KFS was sued for alleged irregular awarding of the tender for the supply of the
ferries to OZATA TERNASECILIK SAN VE TIK Limited, a German firm.

MV Safari has not
been imported to date.

Buuri MP Rindikiri
Mugambi criticised the move to have the tax payer pay the “fast-tracking fee’’ saying
it was a waste of public money.

“I have never seen
or heard anything like fast tracking fee. I have never heard about it in any
Ministry or government institution. This is strange,” Mugambi said.

Uhuru launched the
MV Jambo on August 6, only two days to the heated General Elections.

SAN VE TIK Limited was awarded the tender for the construction of the two
passenger ferries in 2016 for a contract sum of Sh1.8 billion.

“Within the same
month (that MV Jambo was launched), we were sued and this delayed the process. After
we appealed the ruling, the contractor asked us to pay another USD3.2 million (Sh320
million) for delaying the contract” Gowa told the MPs.

KFS was sued by
BORNRIZ Insurance Marine Surveyors Ltd for unprocedurally terminating their
contract to supply the ferries.

Last year, Auditor
General Edward Ouko poked holes in the contract awarded to the Turkish firm. He
said in a report that the firm was ranked fourth at the valuation stage and
that the bid not meet the required standard.

Gowa told the committee
that he has visited the ship yard in Turkey and found out that the ferry was 70
per cent complete.

The committee
ordered the Ministry to fast track the completion and importation of the ferry
in two months to help the more than 30,000 ferry users and 6,000 motorists who
use the channel on a daily basis.

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