The World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have blacklisted close to 20 Kenyan companies over the last two years due to allegations of fraud and quality concerns pertaining projects funded by multilateral lenders.
The trend prompted the two international banks to hire the services of quality assurance experts for better transparency and oversight of funds released by the entities for projects. Hence, Kenyan companies bidding for tenders advertised by the two undergo more scrutiny in a bid to curb graft.
In a statement in November 2021, AfDB stated that its portfolio in the region is facing a number of challenges and requires close monitoring.
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The lender stated that the consultants participate in country/regional meetings to review project and portfolio-related reports, including but not limited to project concept notes, project appraisal reports, project completion reports, country portfolio performance reviews reports.
In a move to seal all corruption loopholes, AfDB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption (PIAC) negotiated and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoUs) the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in 2020.
“The MoU will serve as framework for collaboration on corruption prevention, training and information sharing,” AfDB said at the time.
In this article, WoK takes a look at some of the companies blacklisted by AfDB and the World Bank over allegations of fraud.
Africa Development Professional Group (ADP)
ADP is a Kenyan company that provides onsultancy and advisory services on management, investments, business solutions, corporate finance and business development according to its profile.
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The company was blacklisted by World Bank in 2021 for 21 months after investigations by the anti-corruption wing of the bank established that ADP was involved in fraudulent activities during the bank’s project in Somalia.
“According to the facts of the case, ADP recklessly omitted the disclosure of a conflict-of-interest relationship when submitting a proposal for a contract under the project, which is a fraudulent practice,” said the World Bank.
Rockey Africa Limited
On 29 September 2021, AfDB blacklisted Rockey Africa Limited and its affiliates including Aerospace Aviation, Eva-Top Agencies, Sony Commercial Agencies, Beta Trading Company and Madujey Global Services for 18 months.
The Bank has also debarred Rockey Africa Limited CEO Robert Kamau Wachira for 24 months. The debarments took effect on August 5, 2021.
“An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that Rockey Africa Limited, its above-named affiliates and Mr. Wachira, engaged in fraudulent practices in several tenders under the Support to Enhancement of Quality and Relevance in Higher Education, Science and Technology Project implemented in Kenya,” AfDB said in a statement.
During the debarment periods, Rockey Africa Limited, its affiliates and its CEO, Wachira will be ineligible to participate in Bank Group-financed projects. Additionally, the debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group.
Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited
Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited, a civil engineering company, was blacklisted by AfDB for 36 months on February 16, 2021.
AfDB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that the company engaged in fraudulent practices during a tender for the Bank-financed Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project in Kenya.
At the expiry of the debarment period, the company will only be eligible to participate in Bank Group-financed projects on condition that it implements an integrity compliance program consistent with the Bank’s guidelines.
Mactebac Contractors Limited
On May, 19, 2021, AfDB announced that it had blacklisted Mactebac Contractors Limited and Mr Joram Opala Otieno, the director and shareholder of the company with effect from 15 December 2020.
Investigations by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption had established that the company and its director had engaged in fraudulent practices during a tender for the Construction Works for Malaba Water and Sanitation Project under the Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Program in Kenya.
Techno Brain (Kenya) Limited (“Techno Brain Kenya”)
Kenya-based Techno Brain (Kenya) Limited (“Techno Brain Kenya”), an IT-services company, was blacklisted by World Bank for 28 months over fraudulent activities.
World Bank also blacklisted its parent company, United Arab Emirates-based Techno Brain Global FZ-LLC (“Techno Brain UAE”) for 10 months. The two companies were accused of collusive and fraudulent practices as part of the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project II in Liberia.
Sino-Kenya Engineering Group Company Limited
AfDB on October 11, 2021, announced the debarment of Sino-Kenya Engineering Group Company Limited, a limited liability company, and Mr. Yuehua Bai, its Managing Director, with effect from 19 August 2021.
The Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that the company and its director engaged in fraudulent practices during a tender for the design and build works for Nandi Hills Water Supply and Sanitation Project under the Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme.
Express Automation Limited
On October 7, 2021, AfDB announced the 36-month debarment of Express Automation Limited, a limited liability company registered in Kenya.
An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that Express Automation Limited engaged in fraudulent practices during a tender for the Technical Security Upgrade to the Bank’s Eastern Africa Regional Centre.
AfDB on May 7, 2018, announced the conclusion of a settlement agreement with Chint Electric Co., Ltd., a power transmission and distribution equipment manufacturer and EPC contractor.
“An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that CHINT Electric engaged in a multitude of fraudulent practices: In bidding for contracts in the context of numerous Bank-financed power projects, the company misrepresented its experience with similar assignments in order to meet qualification requirements,” AfDB said then.
Other companies debarred by AfDB and World Bank include; Sony Commercial Agencies, Inotec Co. Limited (Kenya Branch Office), Reef Building Systems Limited (Reef), Ultimate Engineering Limited,