BY ALBERT NYAKUNDI
Thousands of Jua Kali artisans from Nairobi’s Kamukunji Jua Kali Association have accused Housing and Urban development principal secretary Charles Hinga of using proxies to get a 100 million tender at the expense of the artisans.
They claim Hinga lobbied for Ngokamka Holdings Limited to supply 8,832 doors for an ongoing affordable housing project in Nairobi.
The project at Park Road,Ngara is the flagship project for Affordable Housing by the government under it’s Big 4 Agenda.
A total of 1,370 housing units are expected to be complete by the end of October 2020 marking 24 months of the projected construction period.
The artisans who spoke to Hot News on condition of anonymity for fear of their lives, said Hinga lured officials from the Kamukunji Jua Kali Association and artisans who operate along Ngong Road and Kariobangi – and instructed them to form a private company behind the back of other artisans.
“We came to know about this company known as NGOKAMKA HOLDING LIMITED two months ago.” Said a Kamukunji based artisan.
According to details from the Companies Registry in possession of Hot News, NGOKAMKA HOLDING LIMITED was registered on February 24,2019.
It was subcontracted in a contract price worth 100 million two months later April 30,2019.
Its registered office is said to be at 1st Ngong Avenue, Building ACK Garden, House LR NO.209/8342/2.
A security officer at the building who did not want to identify himself said the company does not have an office in the building.
“Ngokamka,hao sijawasikia hapa,pole) loosely translated as, “Sorry. I have not heard of such a company here.” he said.
It has three directors who also double as shareholders and has seven other shareholders.
Two months after its incorporation, it was subcontracted by a Chinese contractor who is building the Affordable Houses.
The agreement dated Apri 30, 2019 between China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd and Ngokamka says the contract price is Kenya Shillings 99,895,883.86.
Ngokamka is to supply 8,832 doors.
Hot News is in possession of a letter signed by PS Charles Hinga dated April 17,2019 addressed to Mr. Mi Xiliang the Project Manager China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd requesting him to subcontract NGOKAMKA.
The letter reads in part, “This is to therefore, request that you fast track the negotiation in good faith with Ngokamka for the delivery of ring-fenced items for the Park Road project.”
Hinga’s letter further states, “Any support that the entity requires will be provided by State Department for Housing and Urban Development to enable them meet the demand and the quality of the products.”
Hinga when reached for comments by Hot News on Tuesday last week, he sent a mobile phone number of a person he said is the chairman who should address our questions.
His message that included Muhia’s phone number reads. “We don’t involve ourselves in the consortium’s internal affairs. So kindly address your questions to the chairman Mr Muhia.”
Muhia told Hot News that he is a carpenter based along Ngong Road and they currently use a lawyer’s office.
Hot News has established that his full name is Joseph Ngure Muhia and is one of the NGOKAMKA directors cum shareholder.
Other directors cum shareholders are Eliud Muthiga Mbiyu and Peter Mwema Muthaaka.
Shareholders include Eunice Wanjiru Mwangi,Jared Omolo Akumu and Joseph Mungai Mburu.
The trio are the chairlady, Vice-chairman, and treasurer respectively for Kamukunji Jua Kali Association.
Muhia further told Hot News that a lady he did not disclose her name from Small and Medium Enterprises department under the Office of the President approached the leadership of the three Jua Kali Association and told them to corporate in order to get tenders from the government.
“I just want you to remove the notion of a private company, even Uhuru knows about us. Four people were nominated from the three associations to form Ngokamka.” Muhia said.
He could not however confirm if there was a formal engagement with members of the three associations before registering Ngokamka.
On Thursday, the PS again sent a message to Hot News distancing himself with the subcontracting of Ngokamka.
“Morning bwana Nyakundi. To answer your question, No I don’t have any interest whatsoever in the contract.Secondly, engage the leadership of NGOKAMKA why understand why they corporatized.Thirdly, if you are interested in the truth, ask them to take you to the actual people that fabricated the doors. Then assess for yourself if the people that fabricated the doors were from the Jua Kali associations.Otherwise our position is we don’t get involved in internal affairs of companies.” Reads his sms.
Others listed as shareholders of Ngokamka include Edward Okoth Otieno, Daniel Macharia Kihanya,Cynthia Andrine Wanjiku Kamau and George Gitau Wachira.
Artisans from Kamukunji,Ngong Road and Kariobangi who spoke to Hot News said they were not involved in corporatization of their various associations to form Ngokamka.
The artisans said they had already existing legal entities, the Jua Kali associations and there was no need to form Ngokamka.
Each association should have been subcontracted independently if the PS is honest. “Ask them to give you minutes that gave them a go ahead to form Ngokamka.” An artisan protested.
Another artisan said, “Let them tell us which bank account they opened with the consent of juakali members and if the proceeds are being channeled to the association’s bank accounts or individual accounts.”
Officials of Kamukunji Jua Kali Association have already been ejected from the office by irate members. The office has since been locked.
On Saturday tension was high at Kamukunji Jua Kali workshops after claims of bribery emerged where directors of Ngokamka were accused of bribing youths to attack their critics.
The artisans have called on EACC and the DCI to investigate Ngokamka to establish the beneficiaries of the Affordable Housing tender.