Controversy surrounds Konza Tech City’s land acquisition process

Kenya’s first-ever multi-billion technopolis project Konza Technology City is now on the spotlight over procurement procedures followed to allocate it about 5,000 acres of land in Machakos County.

This follows reports that Kenya’s ministry of information and communications permanent secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo flouted the procurement directives when acquiring the land.
Kenya’s ethics and integrity authority the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is carrying out Investigations into the ministry’s permanent secretary and chief procurement officer’s conduct — for not conducting open tender procedure, and instead opting for direct acquisition.

According to EACC reports, investigations found out that the procurement of the technology city’s land was not done in conformity with the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act and the Regulations.
The ethics authority has since launched a fresh bid to have justice done after the first attempt to prosecute of the permanent secretary and chief procurement manager failed, reports the Daily Nation.
EACC forwarded a file on April 2 this year to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommending that the permanent secretary and the chief procurement office be charged for failing to follow the country’s law governing the procurement procedures.
However, Ndemo has denied the claims saying there was competitive bidding prior to finalising on the process.
He further explained that the cabinet authorized the communications ministry to secure 10,000 acres of land after the Ministry of Lands evaluated the price of land per acre as KSh200,000, thus settling on 5,000 acres.
The Ministry of Information And Communication later bought the land from Malili Ranch Limited in Machakos County at KSh1 billion (US$ 12 million).
Last week, HumanIPO reported the first investors forum held in Nairobi Kenya at Kenyatta International Conference Centre and HR & A Advisor clinched the management contract
The US-based company eliminated five other bidders that includes AECOM International Development of Finland, Swedish Sweco and Korean, New-York’s SHoP Architects, International Dohwa Consulting Engineers.
HR & A Advisor will be responsible for developing business plan that will have a list of of investors and the government ‘s role in facilitating the project.
Konza Tech City will have a science park, information communication and technology (ICT) centre, residential place, business or shopping centre, leisure and educational facilities.
As disclosed by the ministry of information and communications, the first assignment will be the park’s construction at a cost of US$10 billion from October 2012. With the current confusion however, the process may be derailed.

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