Inside President Uhuru’s decision that cost his Government

The government of Kenya has been forced to part with 158 Million shillings in compensation to a firm following a hurried decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to cancel a tender awarded for their bus operation in Nairobi.

This is after the head of state in 2015 realized the Kenya Airports Authority was every month paying 11 Million for the five busses who were ferrying people inside the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

It also came to President Kenyatta’s attention that the Relief and Mission owned buses were also awarded a government tender running for a period of eight years that would cost Kenyans over 1 billion shillings.

“This is unsustainable. The people behind it will have to be arrested, taken to court and made to return public funds,” an angry Uhuru who had toured JKIA to officially open Terminal 2 ordered. 

The authority then released a statement five weeks after the buses were sent parking explaining the decision by the President.

Kenya Airports Authority stated that the cancellation was unavoidable because the tender was of little public interest and strained the taxpayers a lot.

The Authority added that they were given the go ahead by the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission to continue with the cancellation as the authority flouted the law.

Following the development, Lucy Mbugua, Christopher Warutere and John Thumbi the then KAA’s Managing Director, airport engineer, and Chief Finance Officer were also fired.

Warutere later moved to courts seeking 4 million compensation, while Relief & Mission Logistics also filed a suit against KAA stating that it won the tender legally and risked incurring a Ksh245 million loss.

It faulted the authority for the loss because the money had been invested in purchasing high -end buses and paying taxes to the KRA. 

Its arbitrator Allen Gichuhi claimed that the authority never offered compensation nor the alternative of an amicable settlement, adding that it also failed to explain how the cancellation would prevent the loss of the tax-payers money.

“From the preponderance of the evidence, the inescapable conclusion is that the respondent had no lawful basis for termination of the agreement summarily and hid behind the cloak of convenience, necessity and public interest.

“I find and hold that the tender process was lawfully carried and was not contrary to the Constitution concerning the utilisation of public funds,” he ruled and directed KAA to pay the firm Ksh158 million. 

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