26 March 2019

Kenya: Detectives - U.S.$1,6 Million Arror and Kimwarer Cash Paid to Car Dealer for 45 Cars

Photo: Jared Nyataya/Daily Nation
Cows graze near a stream in Talal, Elgeyo-Marakwet County near the site where the Kimwarer multipurpose dam is supposed to be constructed.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are probing how 28 vehicles bought using funds meant for the construction of Arror and Kimwarer dams were mysteriously transferred to two privately owned warehouses -- one of which is associated with former President Daniel Arap Moi -- before they were registered.

IMPOUNDED

Investigations have revealed that Sh160 million of the dams project money was paid to Toyota Kenya for 45 vehicles, including Prados, Toyota Fortuners, Corollas, Hiace vans and pickup trucks.

But only 17 of the vehicles were registered in the name of CMC di Ravenna, the bankrupt Italian firm hired to build the two dams. CMC di Ravenna has since filed for insolvency in Italy.

Somehow, 18 of the vehicles were whisked away to a bonded warehouse on Mombasa Road, Nairobi, owned by logistics firm Mitchell Cotts.

The other 10 were taken to another warehouse at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport owned by Siginon Freight Kenya, a logistics firm associated with the former President.

Detectives have so far traced and impounded 37 of the vehicles, which are currently at the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road.

Of the detained vehicles, nine are registered in the name of CMC di Ravenna but detectives insist they are part of the investigations.

But the DCI did not confirm whether the vehicles at the Mitchell Cotts and Siginon warehouses have since been registered or whether the individuals behind their movement have been found.

PREMIUMS

While the financing arrangement for the Kimwarer and Arror dams remains in the shadows of a select few government bureaucrats, detectives have discovered that most of the Sh20.5 billion released went towards paying insurance premiums. Kenya paid a total of Sh11.6 billion in insurance premiums to secure lenders financing the white elephant projects.

The government also paid Sh908 million to the Italian government as a commitment fee to ensure that the projects would be seen to the end, and that Kenya would repay the loans taken to finance the construction.

The DCI and Director of Public Prosecutions have revealed the fresh details in an application in court as they seek to join a case Barclays Bank filed to freeze CMC di Ravenna's assets as it seeks to recover Sh585 million loans advanced to the contractor.

Detectives are currently looking into 122 companies that received money from the dams kitty.

While about 75 per cent of the budget for the construction of the dams has been released, there is little on the ground to show for the expenditure.

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