This morning, the Director of Public Prosecutions Mr. Noordin Haji ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of twenty-eight senior executives among them National Treasury CS Henry Rotich and his PS Kamau Thugge over allegations of misappropriation of public funds meant for the development of Arror and Kimwarer mega-dams in Kerio Valley.
If the allegations are indeed true, it means that the Kenyan taxpayer is staring at loosing close to sixty-four billion shillings to a corruption syndicate.
The DPP said there is now sufficient evidence to charge and prosecute the perpetrators who also included NEMA CEO Geoffrey Wahungu, EAC PS Susan Koech, KVDA MD David Kimosop and Senior Managers from CMC Di Raven, the Italian firm accused of illegally obtaining the tender for the construction of the two mega-dams.
“This kind of crime and irresponsibility enslaves us with unnecessary debt, and mortgages our future generations” reads a statement from the DPP’s office.
“Colossal amounts were unjustifiably and illegally paid through a well-choreographed scheme by government officials in collusion with private individuals and institutions” the statement notes.
The DPP’s team of investigators revealed that at the time of awarding of the Kimwarer & Arror dams contract, CMC Di Ravenna had filed for bankruptcy back home in Italy and had previously been awarded three other mega-dam projects in the country that were either incomplete or yet to commence.
Additionally, the Italian firm was awarded the tender based on zero comparisons with other shortlisted firms as per the procurement law, further raising questions about the legitimacy of the multi-billion contract.
The no-nonsense DPP is also seeking answers as to why Mr. Rotich sanctioned the 64 billion payment to CMC, despite the initial cost of the two projects being 46 billion, meaning that taxpayers parted with 17 billion more.
The arrests today come at a time when President Uhuru Kenyatta has intensified his war on corruption, promising to weed out crooks and thieves in his government.
In March, Deputy President William Ruto defended CS Rotich, saying that amount in question was not sixty-four billion but seven billion. His ODM counterpart, Raila Odinga called him out arguing that he (Ruto) had no jurisdiction to comment on such matters if he indeed wasn’t part of the corruption syndicate.