Tanzanian engineering firm excluded from World Bank projects

10Mar 2023
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Tanzanian engineering firm excluded from World Bank projects

Tanzanian firm Burhani Power Engineers has been excluded in implementing World Bank projects, after the Bank debarred its mother company based in Kenyan mid this week for fraudulent practices connected to a project in Uganda.

The company which was launched in Tanzania in 2004 has been classified as class 1 electrical contractor by the country’s contractor regulatory body, the Contractor Registration Board of Tanzania (CRB).

Burhani Engineers Ltd, the Kenyan engineering, procurement and construction company and its three affiliates in Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda are now ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group during the 24-month debarment to March 2025.

Other affiliates affected by the World Bank decision including Burhani Engineers Limited based in Kigali, Rwanda and Burhani Engineers Limited located in Kampala, Uganda.

According to the World Bank, Burhani misrepresented its prior experience in multiple submissions to mislead the selection process and obtain contracts under the project.

“This activity constitutes fraudulent practices under the World Bank’s procurement guidelines,” the World Bank said in a statement issued recently.

The US$168 million World Bank-funded project was designed to increase access to electricity in rural areas of Uganda.

As part of the settlement, Burhani, with 150 employees across East Africa, acknowledged culpability for the underlying sanctionable practices and agreed to meet specified integrity compliance conditions for release from debarment.

According to the World Bank statement, the settlement agreement provides a reduced debarment period for the company’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions.

Burhani also agreed to develop and implement an integrity compliance program reflecting the principles set out in the World Bank Group integrity compliance guidelines and to continue cooperating with the World Bank Group Integrity vice presidency.

The debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

Burhani Power Engineers becomes the fifth Tanzanian company and individuals to be excluded from the World Bank project over the last one decade.

Other companies and individuals previously excluded from implementing the World Bank projects include Mr Munawer Khalfan, a consultant and MMK Project Services Limited, and engineering consulting firm, were both debarred in January 2014 and their debarment is ongoing.

Ramky Tanzania Limited, providers of comprehensive environment management services based in Bagamoyo district was debarred in December 2021 and the debarment is expected to expire in August this year.

According to the World Bank, Sinotec Co. Limited, an energy solutions company registered in China, was cross debarred with Africa Development Bank (AfDB) on November 25, 2020 and its debarment will end mid next month.

An investigation conducted by the AfDB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that the company misrepresented its experience, the value and dates of its reference contracts and its relationship with other bidders while participating in three Bank-financed tenders under the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project in Rwanda, the Uganda Rural Electricity Access Project and the Last Mile Connectivity Project in Kenya.

“At the expiry of the debarment period, Sinotec Company Limited will only be eligible to participate in Bank-financed projects on condition that it implements an integrity compliance program consistent with the Bank’s guidelines,” said AfDB.

The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project financed by the African Development Fund, a constituent entity of the African Development Bank Group, and aimed at developing sustainable energy infrastructure to increase power generation and access to electricity through the construction of a hydropower generation plant and of transmission lines and substations.

The Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption of the African Development Bank Group is also responsible for preventing, deterring and investigating allegations of corruption, fraud and other sanctionable practices in Bank Group-financed operations.

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