DPP drops charges against ex-PSs Thugge, Koech in dam scandals

Former PSs Susan Koech and Kamau Thugge in a Nairobi court on August 8, 2019, during the mention of the dam scandals case. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NMG

What you need to know:

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has withdrawn charges against former Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, who will now become a State witness against his former boss Henry Rotich over the Kimwarer and Arror dam scandals.

Mr Haji also withdrew charges against former Tourism and Wildlife PS Dr Susan Koech.

Through senior assistant DPP Alexander Muteti, Mr Haji said the two will be State witnesses in the trial of former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Rotich, other State officials and directors of an Italian company implicated in the scam.

They were facing multiple counts in connection to the procurement process for the construction of the two dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Through his lawyer Senior Counsel Philip Murgor, Dr Thugge did not object to the withdrawal of the charges. Mr Murgor also asked for the release of his client’s passport and the Sh15 million cash bail, which he had deposited in court.

The former officials had been accused of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, improperly conferring a benefit, abuse of office, committing an offence of financial misconduct, engaging in a project without prior planning and failing to comply with rules and regulations relating to management of public finances.

Mr Rotich and Dr Thugge had denied several charges of entering into a commercial loan facility agreement disguising it as a government to government loan guaranteed by the Italian Government.

Other officials implicated in the scam are former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) managing director David Kimosop and Treasury officials Kennedy Nyachiro (chief economist), Jackson Kinyanjui (Head of Europe Division) and Titus Muriithi (Director of Resource Mobilisation at Treasury).

They were all accused of jointly conspiring to defraud the government of $501,829,769, by entering into a deal to construct the two dams, without approval. They allegedly committed the offence between December 17, 2014 and January 31, 2019.

Last year, the DPP dropped charges against two Treasury officials – Bernard Gibet and Livingstone Bumbe.

On Tuesday, Mr Muteti asked chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti for one month to get directions on directors of the Italian company, who are yet to plead to the charges.

He said the DPP with the help of the Italian government through mutual legal assistance, would determine whether they will be extradited to Kenya to plead to the charges or whether the case would proceed without them.

The companies involved in the scandal are CMC Di Ravenna Itinera JV and CMC Di Ravenna Itinera JV Kenya branch and its director Paolo Porcelli.

Mr Porcelli, and the two companies are accused of jointly conspiring to defraud the Government of Sh27,740,760,550 between December 17, 2014 and September 27, 2018.

The case will be mentioned on February 10.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.