Would you support the government's effort to defer the case involving four Kenyan suspects at the ICC

Monday, February 18, 2008

Records contradict minister

By Evelyn Kwamboka

THE Government signed an Anglo Leasing contract for the supply of Sh500 million security telecommunication system in 2003, court documents show.
In a petition and affidavits filed in the Central Registry of the High Court by Midland Finance Securities Limited of Switzerland and Globetel Incorporation of Cambridge, UK, the documents contradict the dates given by Finance minister, Mr Amos Kimunya. Earlier yesterday, Kimunya had claimed, the contracts were signed during the Kanu regime.

A director of the two companies, Mr David Dunkley, says the Government entered into the contract for the installation and commissioning of a Nationwide Digital Multi-channel Security system on May 29, 2003. Globetel Inc was to supply the communication system to the Administration Police. On the same day, the Government entered into a credit-financing contract with Midland for the first phase of the security contract.

The credit was to be repaid within 72 months from the date the agreement became effective. “The credit contract and the security contract were subject to the laws of England,” he says. The contract, Dunkley says, was to last two years from the date of execution. “Indeed a legal opinion was accordingly issued by the Attorney General, Mr Amos Wako, on June 17, 2003,” he claims. The UK-based company immediately embarked shipment of the equipment in the interest of the timely completion of the contract, Dunkley says in his affidavit.

“As a consequence, Globetel Inc purchased the necessary equipment for installation, had it inspected and shipped in accordance with the agreement, to Mombasa,” he adds.
The two companies also filed a case before a constitutional court on April 4, seeking orders quashing the Government’s decision to hire PriceWaterHouse Coopers to investigate the contract. They also want the AG and the Kenya Anti-corruption Commission or their agentsrestrained from arresting or preferring any criminal charges against them, their shareholders, agents, directors or contractors.

The companies want the court to declare illegal and uncontractual attempts by Government to criminalise the commercial dispute between itself and the petitioners.They contend that the agreements were entered into on the strength of AG’s legal opinion and were, therefore, lawful and do not warrant scrutiny by the audit firm contracted by the Ministry of Finance.

Hearing of the case failed to kick off, yesterday, when a Nairobi advocate, Mr Fred Ngatia, told the court he had instructions from the two companies, to join their advocate, Mr Kyalo Mbobu, in arguing the case. Ngatia told Justice Joseph Nyamu that he needs time to prepare his arguments, a request the judge granted.

The judge ordered that the case be heard on February 11, next year.