Kenya’s finance minister (Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry) Rotich has presented himself at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters on Kiambu Road after orders of his arrest were issued.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Monday morning said he had sufficient evidence to charge 28 individuals among them the CS and three other Treasury officials.
The Arror and Kimwarer dams projects' tenders were awarded to the bankrupt Italian firm CMC Di Ravenna.
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.
"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 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."
"Further, the National Treasury entered into a facility contract in Euros while the commercial contracts were in USD therefore occasioning further loss to the Kenyan Government through exchange rates," Mr Haji said.
The suspects, majority of whom are from the Kerio Valley Development Authority, are expected to be arraigned Monday charged with the eight offences:
- Conspiracy to defraud contrary to section 317 of the Penal Code, Cap 63 Laws of Kenya;
- Wilful failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to procurement contrary to section 45 (2) (b) as read with section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act No. 3 of 2003;
- Engaging in a project without prior planning contrary to section 45 (2) (c) as read with section 48 of Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act No. 3 of 2003;
- Abuse of office contrary to section 46 as read with section 48 of Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act No. 3 of 2003.
- Committing an offence of financial misconduct contrary to section 197 (1) (o) (i) of the Public Finance Management Act no. 18 of 2012.
- Fraudulent acquisition of public property contrary to section 45 (1) (a) as read with section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.
- Knowingly giving a misleading document to principal contrary to section 41 (2) as read with section 48 of Anti- 20 Corruption and Economic Crimes Act no. 3 of 2003 of the Laws of Kenya.
Wilful Neglect to Perform Official Duty contrary to section 128 as read with section 36 of the Penal Code.