Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta Urged to Crack Down on Dams Scandal

A man points to the site of the proposed Thwake dam at the confluence of Thwake and Athi rivers at the border of Kitui and Makueni counties (file photo).
28 February 2019

Pressure mounted on President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday to push out Cabinet secretaries linked to the construction of two mega dams in the North Rift that have been mired in a massive bribery scandal.

Opposition leaders asked the Head of State to act faster and firmly, saying his legacy is likely to be tainted by the growing corruption scandals involving top officials in his government.

They got the support of some leaders from the Rift Valley who said it was unfortunate that some individuals had planned to derail key projects meant to improve the region's economy.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has already summoned and got Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to record a statement on the transactions worth billions of shillings channelled to the construction of Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet.

NASA

Directors of 107 companies have also been summoned and some have already recorded statements on their dealings with an Italian company given tenders for the two dams.

In a statement, the National Super Alliance (Nasa) said the plunder of the Sh21 billion meant for the construction of two dams had been propagated at the highest level of government and by people from the region.

Although they did not give any evidence to back this claim, Nasa asked the DCI to unmask top government officials behind the scandal.

They said there was no way the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) would have had the audacity to initiate payments for such mega projects without political support at the highest level of government.

"The perpetrators of this scandal must have been working under a powerful command in execution of this fraud and plunder of public resources," Nasa said in a statement signed by its chief executive Norman Magaya.

DISBAND BOARD

In a separate statement, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi called for freezing of assets belonging to officers mentioned in graft, saying they should not just be allowed to go home to enjoy the stolen wealth.

"Diligent media sources have revealed that billions have been spent on phantom projects. How could we spend Sh21bn on a project that had not even been designed?" he asked, questioning how it was possible that the country carried out due diligence several months after making a payment.

Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos asked for the dissolution of the KVDA board.

"It is unfortunate if this colossal amount of money has been lost. The government has all the machinery to establish where the money has gone. We call on President Kenyatta to crack the whip," he said in Iten.

Meanwhile, Arror and Kimwarer residents demanded action on those who will be found to have embezzled taxpayers' money.

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