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How taxpayers lost Sh2 billion

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Taxpayers lost Sh2 billion in an exploitative and suspicious money-printing contract entered by the Government and De La Rue through single sourcing.Though the Government had the option of getting its currencies printed far much cheaply abroad, it curiously chose to give the order to the Ruaraka-based De La Rue. It did so ostensibly to protect 260 Kenyans who would have been rendered jobless if the high-security printing firm did not get this lifeline – albeit at a crushing cost to taxpayers. Details emerged how the taxpayer was paying more to sustain printing of currency way above market rates when a parliamentary committee probed the tendering for printing of local currency.Central Bank of Kenya Governor Njuguna Ndung’u on Thursday admitted six interim orders for new currencies issued so far were costlier than the quotation for an open international tender cancelled in an unclear circumstances in 2006.Prof Ndung’u tried to justify the additional cost to the taxpayer, saying it saved jobs at De La Rue, which would have been lost if production was done abroad.But Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee questioned the rationale of paying the additional money to De La Rue – nearly three times more than competitive international market rates. The MPs say the concern over the 260 jobs was a cover-up for the plunder of public coffers by well-connected individuals.PAC chairman Boni Khalwale explained the jobs were secure because De La Rue is involved in other ventures like printing security instruments for banks, which would not be affected if the money-printing offer were subjected to competitive bidding...Click here

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