The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji is set to decide the fate of Lake Victoria Basin Development Authority (LBDA) officials accused of inflating the cost of the Sh4.2 billion Lake Basin Mall, the anti-graft watchdog has told Parliament.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) told the Senate committee on Devolution that it had forwarded the file to the DPP for a final decision.
“This investigation has come to a closure. We had given the file to DPP but he has returned for a few things to be tightened up. Very soon the findings and directions of the DPP will become public,” Twalib Mbarak, the EACC chief executive said in brief presented to the committee by the director of investigations Abdi Muhamud.
The commission asked the Senators to consider the need to maintain integrity of the ongoing investigations and await the direction of the DPP since investigations have been concluded.
“It is reiterated that the Commission’s investigations have absolutely nothing to do with the delay in handing over or operationalisation of the Lake Basin Development Authority mall in Kisumu…Indeed the commission encourages LBDA to operationalise the mall for the benefit of all Kenyans,” Mr Mbarak said in response to a statement sought by Kisumu Senator Fred Outa.
The Senate is probing delay in handover of the mall whose initial construction cost was estimated at Sh2.5 billion but which was escalated to Sh3.8 billion and later Sh4.2 billion.
Edermann Properties Limited, the developer of the mall complex, obtained a loan of Sh2.5 billion at 16.5 percent interest from Co-operative Bank. The loan was taken against a legal charge made on the Authority’s land title L.R No.15239.
The bank has since slapped LBDA with a Sh3.3 billion bill even as the authority posted a Sh188 million loss in the year to June 2018.
EACC appeared before the committee alongside officials from the Attorney General’s office and the Office of the Auditor-General over the delay in the handover of the mall.
The Attorney General and the Auditor General have questioned irregularities in the variation of the project.