Kenya doesn’t have the greatest reputation as a place where there is no corruption, no looting of the state coffers. That reputation is perhaps better than say Nigeria’s, to be sure, but less good than many other places.
An example being this little story of the insurance contract. It’s possible, just, to claim that there’s no problem here. But that’s putting a great deal of weight upon the word “just“.
A firm that is associated with Deputy President William Ruto is under investigation after being awarded a lucrative contract at Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) without following laid down procedures. Nation reports that the company, Africa Merchant Assurance Company (AMACO), was brought on board midway and given 30 percent of a multi-million shilling business. Surprisingly, the firm, where Dr. Ruto is a major shareholder, had not taken part in the tendering process for KPC’s “All Risk Industrial, Terrorism and Sabotage Cover.”
Or another description:
However, Amaco somehow eventually got 30 per cent of the business while CIC holds 70 per cent as the lead underwriter. AIG Kenya Insurance Company Ltd holds the Public Liability Policy. How the troubled Amaco, which has been facing threats from auctioneers, managed to get the lucrative insurance contract is now the subject of investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) that suspects fraud. The investigators are also looking into how AIG won the public liability policy despite having not been recommended for award.
So, to clarify. The Deputy President is the part owner of an insurance company. That insurance company did not take part in the tender for business from a state company, the oil and pipeline one. But after the contract award that Deputy President owned insurance company still ended up with 30% of the insurance contract. The one they’d not even bid upon.
Well, yes, I think we all know what this looks like, don’t we? A tithe of the state’s business flowing to one who holds power in the state. That is what it looks like whether or not it’s true.
Worth noting that the Deputy President has been in office since 2013. The insurance contract went out to tender in 2016.
Fortunately, we’ve also a method of working out what is really going on here. Examine the client books of Amarco, the politician owned insurance company. Are they, disproportionately, taking a share of insurance contracts from state and parastatal organisations? The one instance could just be good business. A pattern would be something else.