Kenya

Kenya Finance Minister Henry Rotich Detained over Multi-Million Dollar Dam Scandal

Kenya’s Finance Minister, Henry Rotich, has surrendered to Police in Nairobi where he faces charges of corruption, Chimp Corps report.

This came after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Monday announced he had ample evidence to charge Rotich and 26 others for flouting procurement procedures in awarding a contract worth over $450M for the construction of two dams to Italian firm, CMC de Ravena.

Rotich denies the charge.

The dam scandal has since kicked up dust in Kenya and underscored the challenges President Uhuru Kenyatta faces in ending graft.

Haji said he had sufficient evidence to charge 28 individuals among them the CS and three other Treasury officials

Daily Nation reported that the Treasury is accused of negotiating a loan that saw the increase of the initial construction cost of about Sh46 billion to Sh63 billion, an addition of about Sh17 billion “payable on a timely basis without regard to performance or works.”

Mr Haji said probe into the projects revealed that “the conception, procurement and payment process for the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects in Elgeyo Marakwet County were riddled with massive illegalities.”

He added that after a multi-agency team investigated further several persons and legal entities were found to have committed criminal acts and omissions.

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“The investigations established that government officials flouted all procurement rules and abused their oath of office to ensure the scheme went through. Many procurement procedures as stipulated by the law for such projects were ignored and the law was circumvented to ensure that CMC di Ravenna got the contract,” he said at press briefing on Monday.

He said at the time of awarding the tender, the firm had been straining and getting into voluntary liquidation back in Italy, a matter the KVDA officials were aware of.

“We also note that the same firm had been awarded three other mega dam projects that are either incomplete or are yet to commence.”

He added: “The persons we are charging today were mandated with safeguarding our public interest and deliberately breached this trust and not only bound Kenya to a loan but they ensured that the funds did not come into the consolidated fund, in effect guaranteeing that no one was oversighting its use, they broke the law on Public finance Management. Under the guise of carrying out legitimate commercial transactions colossal amounts were unjustifiably and illegally paid out through a well-choreographed scheme by government officers in collusion with private individuals and institutions.”

The suspects, majority of whom are from the Kerio Valley Development Authority, are expected to be arraigned Monday charged with the eight offences.

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