The State House is believed to be the safest place in the country, and anything from the supreme office is taken for the gospel truth.
A call from State House could change your life, for good or for bad. For calls giving you tenders, it is a turning point in your life.
However, cons have found a new haven in the State House, stealing millions from unsuspecting Kenyans who want to venture into the lucrative field of ‘tenderpreneurship’.
In August, when 700 laptops and three government vehicles were nabbed at a house belonging to Rift valley politician Allan Chesang purpotedly meant for Deputy Presient’s office, people though it was a one off thing.
As Kahawa Tungu learns, it is a well-knit cartel operating from the State House, office of the Deputy President and the Department of Defense (DoD), using the names to con unsuspecting Kenyans of millions.
Among the lead crooks is Fredrick Majanga Lukhutsu alias Mangala who is facing murder charges in Kakamega for shooting his neighbour.
Mangala and his accomplices have successfully taken over most offices at the aforementioned very sensitive offices, in conjunction where they camp to steal from Kenyans.
To start with, Mangala and his team target wealthy business people with fake “restricted” tenders complete with documents to supply equipment — mostly laptops — worth millions of shillings.
So far, 10 business people have reported to the police having been coned millions by the ‘State House staffers’.
One of the victims, Mr Charles Gathii Ng’ang’a, has lost at least Ksh240 million in a tender he was awarded to supply 1,200 pieces of HP Envy laptops, computers to the State House and the Department of Defence, for a security project.
In this ‘tender’, Mangala introduced himself as Mr Douglas Simiyu, a senior officer at the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Mangala worked with Mr Eric Otieno Atanga, alias Colonel Kiprotich to dupe Gathii.
Mangala, who is alwaysarmed with a pistol whenever in his deals, worked with a lady at State House who uses fake identity, Ms Patricia Mareka. Her real identity is yet to be unmasked.
All victims are forced to sign a non-disclosure agreements, whether the deals are sealed or not.
Ms Mareka is the one used to issue LPOs, which look original, if not. The phone numbers used on the LPOs are used to dupe bank officers, who try to call ‘State House’ to confirm.
Being so sure, this is how Mr Ng’ang’a was duped into supplying 1,200 laptops, never to receive his dues from the ‘State House’.
“After they delivered the goods, they came back with delivery notes, which had State House letterheads and stamps pending payment. You cannot doubt the deal,” says Mr Gathii, as quoted by a local daily.
Another face, yet to be unmasked is Major-General George Abram Nyapindi at the DoD, whom police belief is a staff at the institution. He was involved in another scam, wher Mr Ng’ang’a was coned laptops worth Ksh40 million in the name of a tender.
Another woman was coned Ksh1.6 million in October last year, after being issued with a “tender” to supply computers to State House by the same Mr Mangala.
Others who have been in Mangala’s cartel network but were arrested include David Mapili, Jackson Kiharo, George Ochieng Onyango and Mercy Wahiga Wanjiku.
The four defrauded Idris Ahmed Buro of Ksh23 million, 797 pieces of HP laptops worth Sh55,832,880 and 797 pieces of software windows valued at Sh9,962,500.
Mr Jonah Ochieng Osore, who worked in Deputy President William Ruto’s office was also arrested in connection to the scam.
Another businessman would be coned millions in three tenders, one to supply Panolin Hydraulic Lubricant to the Government Printer at a cost of Ksh74.5 million, 797 laptops to the ICT ministry at Ksh125.9 million and software at Ksh28.7 million.
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