Kenya: Kimwarer and Arror Dams Scandal - Trial Suspended

Cows graze near a stream in Talal, Elgeyo-Marakwet County near the site where the Kimwarer multipurpose dam was supposed to be constructed (file photo).
24 February 2020

The anti-corruption court has suspended the trial of the Sh63bn Kimwarer and Arror dams graft case against former Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his ex-Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and others.

Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti said the High Court has suspended the trial following an application by Richard Malebe, who is one of the suspects in the case.

"Since all the accused persons are jointly charged the net effect is that all the 29 suspects have been affected by the superior court orders," Mr Ogoti said on Monday.

The magistrate, therefore, said the request by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have the case adjourned for 30 days to confirm the position ought to be granted.

Mr Rotich and Mr Thugge were present in court.

Prosecutor Taib Ali Taib asked the magistrate to issue a warrant of arrest for some of the suspects who have never appeared in court.

The court allowed the DPP to have the case mentioned on March 26, 2020.

While asking the High Court to suspend the dams cases, Mr Malebe alleged that his rights were violated when he was arrested and charged alongside Mr Rotich.

The accused have denied the charges and are out on bond.

In the case, 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 bankrupt Italian firm CMC Di Ravenna.

The company was to finance the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects 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.

Mr Malebe, a lawyer, was roped into the case after he was alleged to be a director of CMC di Ravenna.

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