By NJIRAINI MUCHIRA and JACKSON OKOTH
It is still unclear why former finance minister Amos Kimunya (now transport minister) cancelled a tender to print new generation bank notes-given to UK-based De La Rue, a security printing, papermaking and cash handling systems firm.
While this transaction was given a go ahead by Treasury in 2006, Kimunya cancelled it two years later. But the intricate web of accusations between Parliament, the Executive and De La Rue over why it was cancelled still remains a mystery.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has indicted CBK Governor Prof Ndung’u and Kimunya for causing the country loss of millions of shillings through the botched contract.
In a damning report, PAC says due to the cancellation, the tax payer may have lost close to Sh1.8 billion due to the continued printing of old generation notes.
But in a statement, yesterday, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor Prof Njuguna Ndung’u said he was innocent and instead accused PAC of malice by recommending his removal from office due to the controversial contract.
In its report, PAC has recommended that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigate the two.
Ndung’u maintained that he acted within the law in cancelling the deal with De La Rue for new generation currency notes and instituting stop gap measures to ensure the country did not run short of legal tender.
“No legal basis whatsoever has been established for the President to appoint a tribunal to investigate the conduct of Prof Ndung’u. In the absence of such legal basis, the call for Prof Ndung’u to step aside is clearly actuated by malice and vendetta,” said a statement from CBK.
In 2008, De La Rue was awarded a contract to print new generation bank notes for Kenya, from Malta. But the Government went back on the deal and cancelled it, forcing the printing firm to continue printing the old generation notes.
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