Government tenders are sought after like precious stones, they are not easy to come by but are known to be lucrative, especially in a Country like Kenyan where corruption is rife.
So when city businessman Charles Kamolo Musinga was notified that a company he co-owns with Stephen Ngei- Makindu motors- had been shortlisted to supply laptops to the Deputy President’s office, he was elated.
A meeting was arranged between Musing and a lady who claimed to be in charge of procurement business at the office of the Deputy President. She introduced herself as Ms. Muhoro. The meeting took place at Ole Sereni Hotel on Mombasa Road, Nairobi.
The lady wore many hats because aside from being in charge of procurement, she also claimed to be the secretary to the DP’s Personal Assistant, a man they claimed was called Mr. Wanyonyi.
This information was divulged during a court hearing yesterday where Musinga told Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku that Ms. Muhoro latter arranged a second meeting at her office, located at the Harambee House Annex.
On May 30, 2018, Musinga and two other friends drove to Harambee Avenue at 8 am, parked their car, and sat at a Java restaurant, opposite the DP’s office as directed by Ms. Muhoro’s and awaited her call.
“After staying for a while at Java she called and told us to go to the office of DP, we used a side entry, the officers at the gate asked us where we were going. But someone was quick to pick us and we used the VIP lift to the third floor where we were ushered into office number B3-005,” he narrated.
In the office, they found Ms. Muhoro seated and she affirmed they had been shortlisted to supply laptops for the Devolution ministry and gave them a non-disclosure agreement.
According to Musinga, being taken to the DP’s office made them believe the tender they were eyeing was genuine.
They later met Ms. Muhoro at a hotel in Karen where she allegedly demanded a Sh500,000 facilitation fee, they obliged her. Another meeting took place, this time, with Mr. Wanyonyi in attendance and they were given the Local Purchase Order which indicated they were to supply 2,800 laptops.
They delivered the first batch of 145 laptops at the Treasury building. They supplied the second batch of 587 pieces which they were directed to deliver to a “Mr. Kiptoo” who was said to be another PA to the DP at an office in Eastleigh estate.
According to the prosecution, Kiptoo’s real identity is Allan Chesang who is the first accused person in the case. And Kiptoo alias Chesang showed up looking the part- driving a sleek Range Rover complete with stickers of the National Assembly and the office of Deputy President and a police escort to boot.
He also collected the third batch of 500 pieces and the fourth of 620 pieces using the same method.
Musinga informed the court that after they delivered all the pieces, Miss Muhoro and Wanyonyi invited them to Ole Sereni hotel and told them they had done a good job and that they would give them another tender to supply ambulances.
His business partner, Ngei shocked him later with the news that the tender was a scam and that the laptops they supplied were being sold in the market.
They decided to purchase some of the laptops and confirmed that the serial numbers matched those of the laptops they had supplied to the government.
Ms. Muhoro who is also known as Joy Wangari Kamau is among seven people charged with the Sh181 million fake laptop tender at DP William Ruto’s office.
Others include Allan Kiprotich Chesang, Teddy Awiti, Kevin Mutundura Nyongesa, Augustine Wambua Matata, James William Makokha alias Mr. Wanyonyi and Johan Ochieng’ Osore.
The hearing continues on February 15, 2021.