What you need to know:
- It is still not clear why the company that also has branches in South Sudan and the UK was paid more than the value of the assorted PPE it delivered.
- It is also unclear why Kemsa overlooked local companies while awarding the tender.
Members of a parliamentary watchdog were furious yesterday after that learning a UK-based company was paid Sh10 million more for supplies to a government agency.
The National Assembly Public Investment Committee (PIC), which is investigating a Sh7.8 scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa), was told Deekay Relief Limited got a tender worth Sh170 million to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) but invoiced and was paid Sh180 million.
Documents tabled before the committee chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir indicate Deekay Relief Limited, whose headquarters is in India, got an extra Sh10 million in a payment that was done promptly after delivery.
It is still not clear why the company that also has branches in South Sudan and the UK was paid more than the value of the assorted PPE it delivered and why Kemsa overlooked local companies while awarding the tender.
According to documents currently being examined by the committee, Deekay Relief Ltd Director Manpreet Singh Kohli did all the paperwork for the tender in the UK and used a Kenyan by the name Gideon Simiyu to deliver them to the Kemsa headquarters.
“I don’t understand why Kemsa would transfer millions of shillings to a foreign company and even pay Sh10 million more while it ignored thousands of Kenyan prequalified companies who were willing to supply even at a lower price,” Mr Nassir said.
Ignored emails and phone calls
“It is worrying that a foreign company would just send letters and get things done. It was even paid faster as compared to local companies, which employ our people but up to date some are still waiting for payment,” Mr Nassir added.
Mr Nassir said Mr Singh had ignored several emails and phone calls by the committee to appear before it over the Kemsa scandal.
The committee is considering enlisting the help of the immigration department in tracing Mr Singh’s whereabouts so that he can be compelled to face the committee.
“We are not helpless as a committee in dealing with this person. We need to get more details about him from the immigration department. If he is doing business with Kenyan companies, then it means he has interest in our country. We must get him,” said Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris.
A director of Deekay Relief Limited-Kenya, Mr Stephen Mutunga, told the MPs Mr Singh left the country in 2016 for the UK, where he established another company by the same name –Deekay Relief Limited – In 2018.
Mr Mutunga said Mr Singh sold all his 1,000 shares to him and another woman only identified as Judith before shifting to the UK.
According to Mr Mutunga, Deekay Relief Limited-Kenya was incorporated on November 19, 2012 and did not do any business with Kemsa and is not even pre-qualified by the medical agency.
Handling big tenders
“Deekay Relief Limited is independently registered and operational in Kenya. Our company has never applied for or prequalified to be a supplier at Kemsa,” Mr Mutunga said in his affidavit to the committee.
He further said before leaving Kenya, Mr Singh had told him and Judith that he would be handling big tenders from the UK and leaving those with smaller amounts of money to the Kenyan company.
Interestingly, besides sharing a name, both Deekay companies share a logo and an email domain.
Mr Mutunga told the lawmakers he had called Mr Singh in the UK who had given him the go-ahead to face the MPs.
“I called him and informed him that I had been summoned by Parliament. He told me to go ahead,” Mr Mutunga said.
“It cannot be that you are just sharing a name, logo and even domain. This cannot be a coincidence. There is something about this company that you are not telling us. I want to warn you not to carry someone else’s burden,” Mr Nassir warned.
The committee is today scheduled to meet Mr Gideon Simiyu and have him explain his role in the deal awarded to Deekay Relief Limited in the UK.