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Garissa University on the spot over dubious Sh427 million hostel tenders

Tuesday October 9, 2018

An internal audit report has questioned Garissa University’s ambitious construction of a Sh427 million hostel with 750-student capacity.

 It says rampant violation of procurement laws and alleged financial misappropriation are threatening the project and taxpayers’ cash is likely to be lost in dubious deals.

 President Uhuru Kenyatta granted the university a charter in October last year, making it full-fledged. It became the 31st chartered public university. The institution was previously a constituent college of Moi University.

 Construction was launched in May 2014 and was suspended for three months following the deadly terror attack that claimed the lives of 148 students in 2015.
The 2017-18 audit report says the project was advertised twice — the first advert was for Sh251,430 and the second for Sh279,792. The university lost money by readvertising the tender, it said.

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There were two estimates — one prepared by Edward Ndinya amounted to Sh436,522,344, while the quantity surveyor provided Sh357,746,520.

 The difference between the two bills of quantities amounts to a loss of Sh78,755,824 and could have been avoided if professional advice had been sought.

The report also revealed calculated move to pay for work that had not yet been done.

 The amount certified for payment is Sh321,115,443, translating into 74.28 per cent, yet the percentage of work done as at August 17 was 42 per cen.That translates to Sh251,400,288. This means about 32 per cent (Sh69 million) of work has been paid for but has not been done and is likely to provide another avenue for loss of funds.

To complete the project, the university needed Sh210,296,942. The contract was signed on April 24, 2014, between the university and Ms Microsoft Construction Company Ltd for Sh427,103, 221.

Former university principal Francis Mulaa appointed a project manager — ArchiPoint Consulting Architects — to be in charge. However, according to the report, this was not competitively procured as required in law.

 The university also failed to provide documents to prove the availability and ownership of a Sh8 million vehicle project.

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