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Economy

DPP Noordin Haji orders Rotich, top officials' arrest over dams scandal

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has ordered the arrest of Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and other top government officials over the multibillion-shilling Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal.

Mr Haji also cited principal secretaries Kamau Thugge (National Treasury) and Susan Koech (East African Community), officials of the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) and CMC Di Ravena among others in the relation to the scam.

"Consequently, I have today directed the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to effect the arrest and immediate arraignment before court of the accused persons named..." Mr Haji said in a media briefing on Monday.

The DPP said the decision to charge the officials is based on the evidence available to his office.

Taxpayers' money

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Top government officials are said to have bent the rules, and misled the public about the state of national finances, in order to award the tender to the bankrupt Italian firm CMC Di Ravenna.

The company was to finance the Arror and Kimwarer dams project but the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) and the National Treasury went ahead to spend Sh20.5 billion of taxpayers’ money on the ghost projects.

The contract signed between the KVDA and CMC Di Ravenna was to see the Italian firm dig into its own pockets to complete the projects, set up a power plant, transmission lines and other related infrastructure and recover its money by selling power to the government for an unspecified number of years before handing back the dams to the government.

Instead, the National Treasury shopped for expensive loans in Italy and spent Sh20.5 billion for which Cabinet approval was sought.

The dams were strongly opposed by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), which owned the tracts of forest-covered land that was acquired for the ghost projects.

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