|House team wants stalled navy ship deal concluded|
|Navy Ship Contract|
Wednesday November 1, 2006
A House committee wants the Government to act on the controversial
procurement of a multi-million shilling navy ship linked to Anglo
Only four members of the committee went to Spain. They were Mr GG Kariuki, who is the chairman, Mr Marsden Madoka, Mr Joseph Nkaissery and Mr Davies Nakitare. Other are Mrs Nyiva Mwendwa, Mr Kirugi M’Mukindia, Mr Samuel Poghisio, Mr Mwandawiro Mghanga, and Mr Daniel Khamasi.
The report, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, cautions the Government to "safeguard public funds" while handling the matter. According to the committee, the botched purchase puts in jeopardy the country’s international image in honouring contracts.
"Non-payment of dues and violations of contract is a serious matter in international business," says the report.
It urges the Government to take action against individuals who committed the State to the fraudulent deal.
The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the matter, which is also the subject of a legal tussle at an international court.
Euromarine Industries, a Spanish firm that was awarded the contract in July 2003, has sued the Government at the International Arbitration Court at The Hague for breach of contract. The Government is yet to give an official response, notes the report.
The committee recommends that KACC completes investigation to help the Government make a decision and respond to the case.
In the meantime, the report wants the Government to file a rejoinder while "carefully considering the legal and international impact it may have on public funds". It also wants an independent surveyor to evaluate the ship.
Alternatively, it urges the Government to nullify existing contracts and re-negotiate new terms that would not lead to loss of taxpayers’ money.
The committee interviewed key Euromarine officials, including the managing director, Mr Salvador Surroca Vineta, the Honorary Consul representing Kenya in Spain, Mr Enrico Facchetti, and Mr Samuel Githaiya, the principal counselor at the embassy in Paris.
The deal stoked controversy after queries were raised about the ship’s existence and its true worth amid claims that the vessel was a civilian boat that had been converted for military use.