Kenya: Dams Scandal - Ex-PS Kamau Thugge Turns On Henry Rotich

12 January 2021

Former principal Kamau Thugge will now testify against his former boss, ex-Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, in the Sh63 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji, through his deputy Alexander Muteti, dropped charges against Mr Thugge and ex-PS Susan Koech as they will now be State witnesses.

Mr Thugge was former PS Treasury while Ms Koech served in the Tourism and Wildlife Ministry.

"The two PSs will be State witnesses in the dams scam case," Mr Muteti told anti-corruption court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti.

Chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti allowed the application by the DPP and ordered that their cash bail deposited in court be returned to them.

Ex-CS Rotich is among more than 8 others charged with multiple counts including abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an economic crime, conferring a benefit and single sourcing for insurance of the projects, and approving payment contrary to the law.

The DPP has also requested the court to allow him one month to produce 18 Italians charged alongside Mr Rotich over Kimwarer dam scandal.

State prosecutor Alexander Muteti told the court that they have contacted the Italian government over the same.

"Italy was the most hit by Covid-19. We were not able to process the matter against appearance of number 8 to 26,w e have placed legal assistance with the government of Italy to help with the suspects," said Muteti.

The charges

Mr Rotich, other State officials and directors of an Italian company are facing multiple counts in connection to the procurement process for the construction of the two dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The former officials had been accused of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, improperly conferring a benefit, abuse of office, committing an offence of financial misconduct, engaging in a project without prior planning and failing to comply with rules and regulations relating to management of public finances.

Mr Rotich and Dr Thugge had denied several charges of entering into a commercial loan facility agreement disguising it as a government to government loan guaranteed by the Italian Government.

Other officials implicated in the scam are former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) managing director David Kimosop and Treasury officials Kennedy Nyachiro (chief economist), Jackson Kinyanjui (Head of Europe Division) and Titus Muriithi (Director of Resource Mobilisation at Treasury).

They were all accused of jointly conspiring to defraud the government of $501,829,769, by entering into a deal to construct the two dams, without approval. They allegedly committed the offence between December 17, 2014 and January 31, 2019.

Last year, the DPP dropped charges against two Treasury officials - Bernard Gibet and Livingstone Bumbe.

The case will be mentioned on February 15, 2021.

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