dollar bills

Some tenderpreneurs have become rich almost overnight without seeming to work too hard, suddenly having more time and money for leisure.

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The naked truth about state tenders

What you need to know:

  • Well-connected ‘tenderpreneurs’ get hefty payments for supplying air, the said goods or services rendered merely on paper while the pay-out in the bank account is real.

Nudity has always been used as a weapon of mass action. The sight of a naked man, in whatever setting, is traumatising to a fellow man, whether confused or straight.

It is silently tolerated by the opposite gender since it comes with receivables. Besides the mostly feather-weight category gluteus maximus, one quickly wonders how those legs are able to carry around such a wonderful pot-belly. 

Adam and Eve, we are told, used to happily stroll unclad in Eden without consternation. We can picture Eve innocently astride branches, picking juicy apples, dropping some to Adam, just before a forked tongue eternally shocks mankind into shameful awareness.

Recently, crowds of picketing citizens marched in the streets against the rising cost of living in the country, among other pressing demands.

History remembers the Wagalla protests, the 1969 Kenyatta-Oginga confrontation in Kisumu following the killing of Tom Mboya, the Saba-Saba demonstrations and many others. Kenyans have spoken up when they felt aggrieved.

Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai led a group of determined women in protest against a powerful dictatorship, succeeding in stopping the grabbing of a precious piece of public land. These gallant women faced the police and teargas in broad daylight while stark naked. All the politically instigated protests are well documented. Some of the fruits of that costly labour are visible, including the repeal of section 2A of the Constitution that had decreed Kenya a de jure, single party state. 

One recent protest touches the heart, though. It was not called officially. It was not captured on live television. There were no crowds, no teargas, no blaring horns. Just a solo demonstration by a Kenyan denied his rights. A lone man shouting outside the Treasury offices, clad only in blue underwear. Many low-brow Tiktokkers and other addicts have made fun of him, the sober ones attributing his “derangement” to the prevailing economic environment that the country almost deservedly finds itself in. His story is not clear.

The social media commentators have yet to purposely unravel who this man is and what brings a seemingly respectable gentleman to such a pass. Our focus rudely rests on his mental state and his Chelsea FC-blue briefs instead of the tender processes involving the Government office he stands without. Some of us have acquaintances who have become rich almost overnight without seeming to work too hard. These fellows operate off-peak, work less hours and suddenly have more time and money for leisure.

Their secret lies in pushing paper across the dotted lines in National and County Government offices, “winning” tender awards backto-back, and using multiple companies, sometimes with fake credentials. Well-connected “tenderpreneurs” get hefty payments for supplying air, the said goods or services rendered merely on paper while the pay-out in the bank account is real. 

The government loses billions while the citizens unknowingly suffer greatly from this tolerated practice. The devilish tenderpreneurs taint the entire system, which unfortunately relies on crafty insiders blatantly flouting the rules. On the other hand, honest businesspeople find hurdles in their path, from bidding to the release of payments for genuine deliveries, negatively affecting their operations.

Only the brazen sharks remain afloat, billing the tax-payer at four times the retail price. The high uptake of procurement courses in our universities by the youth is, in fact, a red flag.

Without the streamlining of Government tendering processes, many hardworking businessmen, like our lone protester, who probably do not bribe to get paid or do not have the financial weight to hibernate when Treasury is said to be broke, shall find the field very rough. Like Chelsea in the English Premier League, their businesses will keep receiving a beating.