#PulsePicks2020: Biggest corruption scandals of 2020

Kenya lost billions to corruption in 2020

A banner bearing n anti-corruption message used during past protests (Twitter)

The year 2020 saw Kenyan taxpayers lose at least Sh42.3 billion in four major corruption scandals.

The multi-billion scandals involved major state corporations: Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) and the Kenya Pipeline Corporation.

Other state entities which were also named in corruption scandals include the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) and the office of the Deputy President.

  • Sh39 billion Fake Arms Deal

In February 2020, details emerged on a fake arms deal which was struck at the Office of the Deputy President at Harambee Annex.

Former Sports CS Rashid Echesa was named as the prime suspect in the scandal where two foreigners had been promised a Ministry of Defence tender.

The tender had been valued at Sh39 billion and the perpetrators had already been paid Sh11.5 million.

  • Sh 30 million Kenya Pipeline scandal

In July 2020, two former employees of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) were arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over the irregular procurement of transformers.

Former KPC Chief Manager-Technical Elias Maina Karumi and former Chief Electrical Engineer Josphat Kipkoech Sirma were accused of paying Sh30 million for three transformers which were never delivered.

Former KPC MD Charles Tanui was also roped into the scandal and asked to surrender to authorities.

The three are yet to answer to charges of willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement.

  • Sh2.3 billion Kemsa scandal

In September 2020, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu confirmed that Sh2.3 billion had been lost by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) in Covid-19 related claims.

The scandal at Kemsa was further exposed by an investigative report carried by NTV dubbed “Covid Millionnaires”.

The Kenya Senate initiated a probe into the scandal where the Kemsa former MD, other Kemsa officials and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe appeared to give their statements.

  • EPRA boss Sh200,000 bribery case

December 2020 also ended on a “high note” as pertains to corruption involving state officials.

Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) director-general Pavel Oimeke was arrested on December 11, 2020 on allegations of receiving a Sh200,000 bribe to re-open a petrol station.

The board, shortly after, appointed Daniel Kiptoo as the acting Director General.

Mr Oimeke was later released on Sh20,000 bond and is yet to answer to the charges in a court of law.

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