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Rotich, 7 others charged afresh with dams scam

By Bernice Mbugua
Friday, November 8th, 2019
Former Finance CS Henry Rotich (right) and PS Kamau Thugge at Milimani Law Courts during the pre-trial of the multi-billion-shilling dams scandal. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Former National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and PS Kamau Thugge yesterday pleaded afresh to charges relating to the more than Sh51 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams’ scandal.

The two were charged afresh alongside former East Africa Community PS Susan Koech, former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) managing director David Kimosop, former chief economist and head of Europe II Division Kennedy Nyachiro, Jackson Kinyanjui and Titus Muriithi.

The seven now face 31 counts after the prosecution consolidated the Arror and Kimwarer files into one. The prosecution also included 16 directors of CMC Di Ravenna Italy and CMC Di Ravenna Kenya branch in the new charge sheet, but they did not plead to the charges as they were not in court.

Improperly secured 

According to the new charge sheet, the former Treasury CS is accused of conspiring with his PS and 25 others to defraud the government of Kenya over Sh50.1 billion in respect of development of Kimwarer and Arror multi-purpose dams.

They allegedly entered into the construction of the two dams, a project they knew was not approved and as a consequence they improperly secured a commercial loan under the guise of a Government of Kenya thus making the government liable as a financier and borrower.

Rotich, Thugge, Koech, Kimosop, Nyachiro and Kinyanjui faced two other counts of willful failure to comply with applicable law relating to procurement.

Rotich, the two PSs and Kimosop were also accused of engaging in a project without prior planning. He was further charged with two counts of abuse of office while Thugge was charged with five counts of abuse of office. 

Financial misconduct 

The CS allegedly used his office to confer contractual rights and benefits to CMC di Ravenna-ITINERA joint Venture against the government of Kenya by unlawfully executing facilities Agreement for the sum of 250,688,881.72 euros being the contractual sum for the construction and development of Kimwarer multi-purpose dam.

The former CS, his PS, Kimosop, Nyachiro and Kinyanjui were also accused of  financial misconduct in that they made  an improper payment of public funds amounting to 75,423148.38 euros belonging to the government being the total sum  paid in respect to Kimwarer multi-purpose dam project.

Rotich and Thugge had been released on a bond of Sh50 million or a cash bail of Sh15 million.

Special prosecutor Taib Ali Taib withdrew charges on Bernard Kibet and Livingstone Bumbe. Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed the matter to be mentioned on November 27 when the directors of the Italian company will plead to the charges.

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