August 17th, 2012
TWO former senior managers at the the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation were yesterday acquitted of charges of flouting procurement rules during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. While acquitting former managing director David Waweru and company secretary Hezekiah Oira, senior principal magistrate Lucy Nyambura said the prosecution failed to call a witness from the world soccer governing body, FIFA, to testify in the case.
The magistrate further said FIFA did not complain over the broadcast and there was therefore no evidence to convict Waweru and Oira. She said the two did not directly negotiate for the deal. Nyambura further said KBC had over the years obtained exclusive rights to broadcast the matches and there was no justification in bringing the charges.
The two had been charged with failing to comply with procurement law, when they directly procured contracts with Fifa and African Union of Broadcasters, to relay the matches, without approval of the Central Tender Committee. Among the complainants in the case were RADIO Africa, which entred into an agreement with the KBC to share rights equally to relay the World Cup.
Radio Africa complained that the state broadcaster breached an agreement giving them exclusive rights to transmit the matches. However, KBC breached the contract when it allowed Citizen TV to broadcast the tournament. In the deal, KBC was to get 60 per cent of revenue collected jointly and Radio Africa the rest. But the magistrate said the Radio Africa can file a civil suit and seek damages over the breach because the KBC-Radio Africa Partnership was civil in nature