Senior Kenya Power procurement staff suspended last year to pave the way for a forensic audit of the division have reported back to their work, yet the much-awaited findings have not been released.
The deep-cutting audit was to cover the dealings of the procurement staff, systems and stocks in a government-led crackdown on graft. Kenya Power last November suspended the 59 senior staff in its supply chain division and appointed an interim team to steer its procurement functions.
The move was part of recommendations made by the Presidential Taskforce on Power Purchase Agreements Reforms to rid the company of corruption.
The taskforce had recommended the replacement of all procurement officers. It also wanted the firm to retrench staff, introduce a shift system and vet the staff to assess their competencies, qualifications and integrity. It further proposed the enforcement of wealth declarations to verify unexplained wealth of any of employees.
Yesterday, Kenya Power confirmed to Sunday Nation that all the suspended staff have now resumed work, saying the recall decision was made internally by the management and supported by the Ministry of Energy.
Four of the managers who have returned are among the six whose homes were raided by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in June as the agency foraged for incriminating evidence. The (EACC) carted away documents it hoped would link them to graft at the utility.
“EACC accessed and searched residential homes of six KPLC Top Managers under investigation for alleged grand corruption ranging from procurement irregularities, insider trading, unexplained wealth to conflict of interest. Critical evidence was confiscated,” the commission said.
The EACC had raided the homes of John Kibyegon, Jane Muigai and John Wachira (all from supply chain), and those of Charles Mwaura from the network management office, Stephen Kinadira from the finance division and Eng Stephen Nguli.
The forensic audit was expected to shed light on the extent of graft at the utility, with the supply chain team at the centre of procurement scandals that have seen billions of shillings lost, especially through purchase of substandard equipment. “The critical parts of the audit have been concluded,” said Kenya Power.
The audit was to be used as the basis upon which the suspended staff would be implicated or absolved, thus informing reinstatement or disciplinary action.