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Friday, July 27, 2007

Missing Oil Contracts And The Swiss Connection: Why Raila Needs To Come Clean

There have been accusations in parliament leveled against ODM presidential hopeful Raila Odinga in connection to some oil contracts that have "vanished."

I made a few enquiries a few hours ago about the Swiss companies involved. The reason why I am getting a little jittery about this oil business is because both Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing had critical “connections” to Switzerland. I pray that I am wrong amend that everything is above board concerning this oil contract business.

I found out the following scanty information about one of the companies mentioned, Vitol (SA) Geneva,

· The Company has been registered in Switzerland since 1998 but as from 2004 only two persons are authorized tos ign agreements on behalf of the “group” (each of them as individuals and no as joint signatories). The gentlemen are a certain Mr Roland Favre (Swiss) and a Briton named David Fransen.

· Curiously it is said that each company in the Vitol group is owned by individuals in the respective countries, i.e. in the case of Nigera it could be owned by the a person close tpo the President there. Remember that in Nigeria both Olegusin Obasanjo and the current president could not trust anybody with the health portfolio and have held itthemselves.

· Experts in these matters have told me that the company set up looks fishy and could have been designed to keep cash from the transaction in the infamous secret “Swiss accounts.” The big question is why did the Kenyan government sigh such a contract?

In the past Raila Odinga has been linked to various questionable deals which he has never explained to the public. High on the list is the molasses plant. While this blogger knows that Raila is cleaner than virtually all the other major presidential candidates, it is important that he sets the record straight, even though many other former cabinet colleagues of his will never do the same. I am thinking of people like Chris Murungaru. But then the big difference is that Murungaru does not want to be president of Kenya.

I reproduce the article below from today’s Standard that gives details of this development;

Ex-ministers asked to explain oil deal

By Standard Team

Two former Cabinet ministers know the whereabouts of missing contract documents on an oil deal between Kenya and Nigeria, the Government has said.

Heat turned on former Energy ministers, Mr Raila Odinga and Mr Ochillo Ayacko, as the matter of revenue earned from oil trade became the focus of Parliament for the second time.Energy Assistant minister Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri claimed Raila and Ayacko should shed light on the whereabouts of the vital documents, which show details of commission revenues generated by the contracted companies."It is high time we understood the genesis of this matter.

There are no records of premium paid by companies and revenue received by Government from 1999 to 2002," Kiunjuri said in the House on Thursday.He went on: "Mr Odinga was in charge of the Energy docket between 2001 and 2002, and he is in a better position to comment on the whereabouts of the records." Minister alleged there was a sinister motive.

Further, Kiunjuri said reductions of price per barrel from $210 to $70 were effected in 2004 during Ayacko’s tenure and "he should comment on the same too".The minister alleged there was a sinister motive regarding the questioning of the oil deal, which he linked to the failure by the Government to renew a contract to one of the companies.

Raila and Ayacko were dropped from the Cabinet after the Government’s defeat at the November 2005 referendum on the proposed constitution.

Kiunjuri said the lifting contracts had been awarded to two companies in the last three years: Arcadia in 2004/2005, and Vitol (SA) Geneva from 2005 to 2007.

Revenue received from the deal was Sh141.6 million, with Vitol (SA) Geneva accounting for Sh99.9 million and Arcadia Sh41.6 million. Firm lost contract in an open tender.

Nigeria supplies 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day, according to a one-year agreement, which expires on October 1 and is subject to renewal."

The actual oil barrels received under this agreement are, however, dependent on the availability and subject to monthly nominations by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation," Kiunjuri added. The minister said Arcadia lost the contract in an open tender.Answering Alego-Usonga MP, Mr Sammy Weya (Narc), who sparked off the debate a fortnight ago, Kiunjuri maintained the State was not enjoying any concessions by buying fuel from the Nigerian Government.

He tabled the contract for sale and purchase of the crude oil alongside a breakdown showing the amount of crude oil lifted and premiums paid by the companies. Raila had earlier said he negotiated the deal.

Kiunjuri alleged ulterior motives in the manner in which the matter had been pursued in Parliament and asked the Chair to compel Weya to declare his intentions. However, Deputy Speaker David Musila declined. Weya protested that the Speaker had directed the minister to furnish him with the documents beforehand, but Musila ruled the demand had been overtaken by events.

He, however, said Weya would next week probe the matter further once he had perused the tabled documents. On July 12, Raila said he negotiated the deal, which allowed the Government to lift oil at prices lower than market rates.

MPs wondered why returns from the oil industry were dwindling at a time when Kenya was enjoying lower prices and concessions, which the Government has since denied knowledge of.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You do not seem to understand that Raila and Ayacko negotiated the reduction of price of oil from USD 210.- to USD 70.- to the benefit of the nation. Today the Kibaki government pays USD 250.- and this is where the problem is. They do not want to renew the vitrol contract of USD 70.- because these are supposedly missing


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