Treasury CS and PS to be charged with dams scandal as President set to name their successors

by David Karani

Treasury CS Henry Rotich and his PS Kamau Thugge have surrendered to DCI headquarters over Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had earlier ordered their arrest among other state officers over the dams scandal.

Detectives have also arrested NEMA Director General Geoffrey Wahungu at his home in Rukindu, Tharaka Nithi County in the swoop and he’s reported to be on his way to Nairobi for further interrogations.

Officers of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission based in Eldoret swung into action arresting Kerio Valley Development Authority officers who were named by the DPP as suspects. They include the authority’s acting MD Francis Kipkech, among other officials.

The announcement came after Haji and Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti flew to Italy on June 10 to conclude investigations into the dams scandal.

Others expected to be arrested include EAC PS Susan Koech, Kerio Valley Development Authority managing director Kipchumba Kimosop, Treasury chief economist Kennedy Nyachiro and Treasury director of resource mobilisation Jackson Kinyanjui.

Also to be arrested are Inspector General of State Corporations Titus Muriithi, KVDA head of supply chain William Kipkemboi, Paul Serem (manager, engineering services), Francis Chepkonga, Samuel Kimutai, David Juma, Patrick Kiptoo, Elizabeth Kebenei and Esther Kiror of the tendering committee.

From the technical and financial committee, Kipchumba, Nelson Korir, Isaac Kiiru, Patrick Kipsang, Frederick Towett, Jotham Rutto, Charity Muui, Geoffrey Wahungu, and David Ongare face arrest. After his press briefing, DPP explained that the names were arrived at depending on the evidence collected and that there is no bias at all.

“We are aware there may be elements who may seek to exploit these charges to create social unrest, but mechanisms have been put in place to monitor any such attempts and counter them,” Haji said.

Haji also noted that the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) failed to comply with the principle of fairness and value for money in awarding the contract to CMC Di Ravenna.

“They awarded the contract while aware that CMC Di Ravenna was straining financially back in Italy,” Haji said.

According to the DPP, the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) flouted the procurement rules in handing the Arror and Kimwarer dams contract to CMC di Ravenna in which the contract was inflated by Sh17 billion.

He says the contractor (CMC di Ravenna) also submitted a design of the dams four years after the required time. Haji also ordered the arrest of CMC di Ravenna top directors. The suspects will be charged with conspiracy to defraud, willful failure to comply with applicable procedures, abuse of office, committing an offence of financial misconduct, fraudulent acquisition of public property among other charges.

Meanwhile, president Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to announce an acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary as soon as Rotich and Thugge are charged in court.

The President is also expected to name an acting Treasury PS in line with his declaration during the State of the Nation address in April.

Addressing Parliament, Uhuru said that all government officers will cease holding office once they are charged in court.

It is expected that the President will name an acting CS from within his Cabinet as nominating one from outside would require that he seeks Parliament’s approval.

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