Just weeks after the president fearlessly admitted that Kenya looses two billion each day, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto’s latest statement to the Public Investments Committee of the National Assembly is bound to not only cause anger but outrage too.
Appearing before the PIC this week, the Solicitor General announced that as the government will be budgeting for construction of roads and hospitals, an additional 7 billion will also be set aside to pay the Covid heist companies.
While admitting that indeed the Covid-19 equipment were tendered by KEMSA in contravention of the procurement law and therefore the tender was null and void, he nevertheless said that the government was still obligated to pay according to the law.
Most of the more than 100 firms that traded with KEMSA supplied goods worth large sums of money on the basis of a commitment letter, and even singed contracts after delivery
“During the period under review, Kemsa irregularly utilised Universal Health Coverage and Capital Budget to procure Covid-19 related items worth Sh7,632,068,588 without evidence of approval of the budgets by the relevant authorities,” Ogeto said.
He however added that there was a provision in law that required them to pay an amount commensurate to effort, no matter how little.
“We wish to point out that the law provides a remedy for quantum meruit in instances where a contract does not exist or cannot be performed. The doctrine means reasonable payment for work done,” he told the abdulswamad led committee.
While most MPs were outraged with this, and expressed their anger, Budalangi MP Rafael Wanjala suggested that instead of paying the money to a band of crooked slimy businesses, the government should order the company to take back the goods and give back the money.
This won’t be the first time the Uhuru government is paying a contractual obligation that was gotten into by a fraudulent government agency. Kenya paid the questionable Angloleasing contracts so as to qualify for the Eurobond issuance. Sadly, the money realised from the issuance was also stolen.