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Government restless over Kia bogus firm

Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale has courted Kenyan law firms in what appears to be government’s desperate attempt to trace the bogus contractor who vanished with $48,000 meant for refurbishing a lift at Kamuzu International Airport (Kia).

Kaphale recently visited the east African country where he reportedly explained the details of the fraud and sought their involvement in tracing the fraudulent contractor.

The matter caught controversy during the last meeting of Parliament when legislators pressed government to come out clear on how the funds which were approved by Parliament were utilised.

At that time, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu acknowledged the existence of the contract between the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and the company to supply the equipment.

He said the matter is now being handled by the office of AG.

In an interview on Monday, Kaphale confirmed discussing the matter with four law firms and said government will be able to engage one company upon reviewing their quotations once they submit.

“I met a number of law firms who are going to submit quotations to do the work and depending on the quotation we believe is favourable, we are going to engage one of them,” Kaphale said

However, he did not disclose the firms on grounds that it might jeopardise the search work once the law company is identified.

“Because we are dealing with a run-away contractor, we would like to keep the names under wraps. Mentioning their names will alert the contractor and we don’t know what they are capable of [doing],” he said

It is reported that when the need arose to have the equipment, DCA contacted Mitsubishi in Japan who supplied the initial lift.

However, Mitsubishi advised the department to deal with its agency in Kenya but after the incident, Mitsubishi said they had dealt with all the outstanding contracts on the matter with the bogus contractor.

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