Auditor General yet to submit fuel probe report

The office of the Auditor General (AG) has not yet released a report of its findings from a special audit into the management of the government’s fuel strategic reserves as it had promised.

The office of the Auditor General (AG) has not yet released a report of its findings from a special audit into the management of the government’s fuel strategic reserves as it had promised.

Last month, AG Evelyn Kamagaju promised to submit the report to Prosecutor General (PG) Martin Ngoga before the end of September, but on Thursday she said that the document is yet to be finalised.

“It was difficult on timing, but we are in final stages, and it will be ready soon,” Kamagaju said.

The AG’s office started the investigation in July on Ngoga’s request.

The Prosecutor General was at the time investigating a high-profile case in which two senior Cabinet ministers were suspected to have flouted normal tendering procedures in procuring huge volumes of fuel in 2006.

Ngoga was unaware about the progress made by Kamagaju’s office on the inquiry.
Although the PG’s office seems to have cleared the two ministers – Protais Mitali for Commerce and James Musoni (Finance) together with several other government officials – the AG’s probe also covered the process to award the said petroleum tender.

Musoni, formerly Commerce minister, initiated the deal while Mitali completed it without neither a non-objection from the National Tender Board (NTB) nor a Cabinet approval, anomalies which the latter admitted.

But Kamagaju remains tightlipped on her office’s findings, a situation that has reportedly continued to cause uneasiness among those that were involved in the 10-million litre fuel tender.

The tender, awarded to Kenya’s Dalbit Petroleum Limited through a single-source arrangement, was originally worth about Frw5 billion, but later scaled down to four million litres (worth Frw2 billion) after the government received a fuel grant from the Japan.

The said ministers claimed the deal was initiated because the country was at the time threatened with a looming fuel crisis after local petroleum companies failed to supply the required volumes.

Ngoga said that his office had established that there was a crisis (when the said fuel tender was conducted early 2006) “and we are not disputing the way it was handled at the time.”

“However, now a major component of our investigations is to get to the gist of what happened in the management of fuel reserves during and after that period,” he said.
Fuel strategic reserves are managed by the Commerce ministry.

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