By County Splash Editorial
The controversy surrounding the procurement of 600 20-litre jerricans in Bungoma County at Sh10, 000 if it is anything to go by, then it may determine the making or the fall of Governor Wycliffe Wangamati.
This is so because the wheelbarrow scandal in 2015 that was purchased at a cost of Sh109, 000 instead of Sh3000, the known market price, ‘ended Ken Lusaka’s political career’. Infact, Wangamati used this scandal to take Lusaka to political oblivion.
Whether the county procured the jerricans at the said price or not, that is a non-issue. Truth be told, Wangamati handlers failed him a big time in the manner in which they handled the scandal. The King has already been exposed and is ‘naked’ and now for his 2022 political survival, depends on how he will handle the matter.
Now let us take stock of Governor Wangamati last state of the county address at the Bungoma County Assembly. Wangamati did not mince his words by faulting the former procurement officers of working to sabotage key county projects.
Wangamati cracked the whip and his wish of overhauling the entire procurement office was granted. A new director of procurement was installed.
Alex Odanga the new director of procurement first assignment into office was the procurement of the scandalous jerricans.
As a procurement procedure, Mr. Odanga who is directly answerable to the acting Chief Officer of Finance, Jonathan Namulala must have overseen the procurement of the jerricans and even there are claims that the officers single sourced (direct sourcing), Simpsur Ltd as the suppliers of the jerricans that Wangamati said was a donation from the business community.
Odanga must have verified that the company was prequalified and best suited to do supplies in the water tanks category.
Assuming this category was nonexistent, then the supply chain manager needed to explicitly state that the purchase of jerricans was to be done by either Women, Youth or Persons Living with Disability (PWDs) because of not being a heavy intensive capital investment business.
This means that a quotation was to be sent to a number of companies and an evaluation committee formed so as to satisfy that the lowest bidder gets the Local Purchase Order (LPO) of doing the tender.
Alternatively, if no company was suitable to supply, the director of procurement ought to have bought directly from the manufacturer.
The Head of Supply Chain Management needs to tell the public whether they paid SIMPSUR LTD a whooping Sh10, 000 per jerrican, if that is not the case, then how much did they procure the jerricans at?
Is SIMPSUR LTD the supplier or Manufacturer? How many companies applied for the tender? Who sat on the evaluation committee and how many were they? Did the Governor remove the former procurement leadership for refusal to play to their corruption/ impunity tune? WHO IS FOOLING WHO?