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PRESS STATEMENT: Purported Influence Peddling in Procurement of Life Insurance Cover for EAC Staff

The East African Community Secretariat has noted with concern a statement carried by New Times Newspaper of Rwanda in its publication of Friday 20th January 2017 titled Regional MPs raise concern over procurement flaws at EAC Secretariat, arising from the debate by the Members of the East African Legislative Assembly on the Report of the Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges on the matter of investigation of procurement of Group Life Insurance Company for the East African Community at its 5th Session being held in Kampala, Uganda.

The Newspaper claims to have obtained documents last year that point to a corruption scandal linking the Secretary General, Amb. Mfumukeko (and others) to influence peddling in procuring the Group Life Insurance for EAC staff, where a contract was purportedly awarded to an insurance company that had come third in the bidding process; Liberty Life Assurance Kenya Ltd, whose financial offer was US$ 746,090, instead of the real winner, Britam Life Assurance Company, whose offer was US$ 480,008.

The truth of the matter is that nowhere in the Report of the Committee is the Secretary General mentioned or accused of influence peddling. Secondly it was the Secretary General who first identified the loopholes in the procurement process for the Group Life Insurance for EAC staff and he raised the flag to the flawed process.

Hon. Amb Liberat Mfumukeko, as the Chief Accounting Officer, put to halt the procurement process owing to lack of quorum and other irregularities. He could not endorse the Report of the Procurement Committee to give the contract to Britam Life Assurance Company.

After all the loopholes identified by the Secretary General were addressed, the procurement process was finalized and an award offered to Britam Life Assurance Company to cover EAC staff for the next one year. The Secretary General informed the august Assembly that he will not approve any procurement process that is not compliant to all the laid down procedures.

He also informed the regional Parliament that procurement issues have recurred in all audits of the EAC in the last 10 years, a situation he is determined to contain.

The Secretary General is committed to reforms geared towards correcting challenges faced in the Community. He highly appreciates the Assembly and commends the Members for their oversight role, which enables the Community to improve its performance.

East African Community
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