AfDB blacklists Kenyan firm “over tender” fraud
On Tuesday, the African Development Bank (AfDB) barred Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited, a civil engineering company based in Kenya, from participating in lender-funded projects for three years after it was found to be involved in tendering malpractices in a Sh7 billion irrigation project.
The regional bank said an investigation by its honesty and anti-corruption office established that during one of its tenders for a small-scale irrigation and value addition project in Kenya, the company engaged in fraudulent practices.
According to Nation Africa, the decision of the bank implies that, over a 36-month span, Global Interjapan has been legally barred from bidding for its tenders or from participating in any of its funded projects, effective August 24, 2020.
“Additionally, the debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group,” AfDB said on Tuesday.
As reported, AfDB did not, however, reveal particulars of the “fraudulent practices” or whether they implicated implementation of the irrigation project, whose aim was to lessen poverty in 11 Kenyan counties.
“At the expiry of the debarment period, Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited will only be eligible to participate in Bank Group-financed projects on condition that it implements an integrity compliance programme consistent with the Bank’s guidelines,” it stated.
The company’s debarment comes just months after four Nigerian businesses were banned by the pan-African lender over similar allegations of fraudulent and collusive activities during an auction in August 2020 for the supply of water meters, automatic meters and house link materials.
The small-scale irrigation and value-added project was conceived in 2015 to increase agricultural production, income and food security among the inhabitants of the counties of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Tana River, Bomet, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua, Murang’a, Kajiado and Nyeri.
The venture’s key components were improving irrigation infrastructure, developing water supplies, improving market access, strengthening value chains and strengthening institutional capability, according to the project assessment report of the AfDB last year.
“The project will be implemented over a period of 6 years (2015-2021),” the bank stated.
A loan from AfDB, a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and a donation from the government co-financed the Sh7 billion project