Economy

Italians in Sh63bn dams scandal face Kenyan trial

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Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • Italians at the centre of Sh63 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal will be charged separately to allow the trial of Kenyans in the case, including former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, to proceed without delay.
  • Appearing before chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti yesterday, special prosecutor Taib Ali Taib said the prosecution will draw separate charge sheets for the Italians and Kenyans implicated in the scandal.

Italians at the centre of Sh63 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal will be charged separately to allow the trial of Kenyans in the case, including former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, to proceed without delay.

Appearing before chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti Tuesday, special prosecutor Taib Ali Taib said the prosecution will draw separate charge sheets for the Italians and Kenyans implicated in the scandal.

Some 18 Italians who are directors of the Italian companies -CMC Di Ravenna, Itinera JV and CMC Di Ravenna and Itinera JV Kenya Branch -which were awarded the tender for construction of the two multi-purpose dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County, are implicated in the scandal.

The government is yet to arrest any of them, despite obtaining warrants from the court. Mr Taib also revealed that senior government employees among them former PS Kamau Thugge and Susan Koech, have been removed from the charge sheet after they were turned into state witnesses.

“We are in the process of uploading the new charge sheets on our website, where all defence counsel can download. The Italians will appear in a separate charge sheet to allow the proceedings to continue uninterrupted,” he said.

Mr Ogoti directed all the accused persons to appear in court physically on May 26 to plead to the charges afresh.

Mr Rotich, a host of officials from Treasury and senior officials of Kerio Valley Development Authority have been charged with conspiracy to commit an economic crime and irregularly and unlawfully sourcing for the construction of the two dams.

The DPP has accused Mr Rotich of hiding behind government-to-government procurement to single-source privately-owned Italian Insurance company SACE (an Italian export credit agency offering insurance) policy valued at Sh11 billion, an amount that was inflated by more than 400 per cent.

In December, the three Italian firms involved in the contracts have sued Kenya at International Court of Arbitration demanding more than Sh11 billion over the cancellation of projects.