CS Rotich surrenders after DPP Haji orders for his arrest over Arror-Kimwarer dams scandal
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Monday presented himself to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) hours after an order for his arrest was issued.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji ordered for the arrest of the CS alongside 27 others over the loss of Ksh.19 billion in the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.
The DPP, addressing the press, said his office received complaints touching on governance and operation challenges in the management of the two dam projects on September 18, 2018.
“Upon investigations by the DCI, it was established that the conception, procurement and payment process for the Arror and Kimwarer Dam projects in Elgeyo Marakwet County were riddled with massive illegalities,” he said.
“The investigations established that government officials flouted all procurement rules and abused their oath of office to ensure the scheme went through.”
According to DPP Haji, procurement procedures were ignored and the law circumvented to ensure Italian company CMC di Ravenna got the contract.
He also stated that Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) chose Public Procurement and Disposal Act (PPDA), 2005 for the concession agreements despite the fact that the law in 2013 prescribed Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
DPP Haji said the alleged contract signed between KVDA and CMC Di Ravenna stated that Kimwarer Dam would cost $204,020,149.02 (approx. Ksh. 20 billion) while Arror Dam would cost $252,188,732.27 (approx. Ksh.25 billion), totaling approximately Ksh.46 billion.
However, he added, the National Treasury negotiated a commercial facility increasing the amount to Ksh.63 billion; which is Ksh.17 billion more.
“Of note, out of the Ksh.63 Billion in respect of the projects, as at January 2019, the government of Kenya has made the following payments: advance payment, commitment fee, insurance and other costs totaling Ksh.19,714,366,991,” he said.
Ksh 4.6 Billion more was borrowed in addition to the principle amount to pay interest in advance during the construction period which to date has not commenced.
The Treasury released a further Ksh.643 million intended for the resettlement of the persons that would be affected by the projects as compensation.
“Upon receiving and reviewing the evidence, I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence to charge and prosecute the perpetrators,” he added.
The DPP hence directed the Director of Criminal Investigations to effect the arrest and immediate arraignment of the following:
- Henry Rotich – Treasury CS
- Kamau Thugge – Treasury Principal Secretary (PS)
- Susan Jemtai Koech – PS, Ministry of East African Community
- David Kipchumba Kimosop – Former Managing Director, KVDA
- Kennedy Nyakundi Nyachiro – Chief Economist and Head of Europe II Division, National Treasury
- Jackson Njau Kinyanjui – Director Resource Mobilization Department, National Treasury
- Titus Muriithi – Inspector General of State Corporation
- Paulo Porcelli – Director, CMC di Ravenna
- CMC di Ravenna – Itinera JV Italy
- CMC di Ravenna – Itinera JV Kenya
- William Kipkemboi Maina – Head of Supply Chain Management, KVDA
- Paul Kipkoech Serem – Manager Engineering Services, KVDA
- Francis Chepkonga Kipkech – Tender Committee, KVDA
- Samuel Kimutai Kosgei – Tender Committee, KVDA
- David Juma Onyango – Tender Committee, KVDA
- Patrick Kiptoo – Tender Committee, KVDA
- Elizabeth Kebenie – Tender Committee, KVDA
- Esther Jepchirchir Kiror – Tender Committee, KVDA
- Moses Kipchumba – Ad hoc Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee Team 2, KVDA
- Nelson Korir – Ad hoc Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee Team 2, KVDA
- Isaac M. Kiiru – Ad hoc Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee Team 2, KVDA
- Patrick Kipsang – Ad hoc Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee Team 2, KVDA
- Fredrick Towett – Ad hoc Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee Team 2, KVDA
- Jotham Ruto – Ad hoc Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee Team 2, KVDA
- Charity Mui – Ad hoc Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee Team 2, KVDA
- Geoffrey Mwangi Wahungu – CEO National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
- David Walunya Ongare – NEMA
- Boniface Mamboleo Lengisho – NEMA
The suspects will now be charged with, among others, charges including Conspiracy to Defraud, Wilful Failure to Comply with applicable Procedures and Guidelines relating to Procurement as well as Engaging in a project without prior planning.
They will also be charged with Abuse of Office, Committing an offence of financial misconduct, Fraudulent Acquisition of Public Property and Wilful Neglect to Perform Official Duty.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions is cognizant of the principle of innocent until proven guilty the determination of which can only be made by a court of law,” added the DPP.
“The decision to charge is based on the evidence that is available to the DPP at the time the decision is made.”