BY SAM ALFAN.
Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich was yesterday charged afresh over the Sh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.
This is after Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji dropped charges against former Treasury PSs Kamau Thugge and Susan Koech.
Rotich was charged together with former Kerio Valley Development Authority managing director David Kimosop, Kennedy Nyakundi (chief economist Treasury), Jackson Njau Kinyanjui (director of resource mobilization- Treasury) and Titus Muriithi- the inspector general of state corporations.
The prosecution also dropped from the case some 18 Italians who own the companies that benefited from the tender and intend to charge them separately.
This means the former ministry accounting officer Thugge and Koech will now testify against Rotich during the hearing that is scheduled to commence in October on a day to day basis until November for three months.
The new charges were read to the accused persons after the defence lawyers led by Kwata Kigen and Phillip Nyachoti who represented Rotich in the matter did not oppose the DPP move to separate the cases.
Rotich denied all the charges among them conspiracy to defraud, abuse of office, Wilful failure to comply with applicable laws and engaging in a project without prior planning read out to him by Ogoti alongside all other four accused who have been charged alongside him.
In the first court the five accused persona are charged that between December 17,2014 and January 31,2019 jointly with others not before court conspired to defraud the government of Kenya of USD 501,829,769 by entering into the construction and development of Arror and Kimwarer multi-purpose dams, a project they knew was not approved and in respect of which they failed to comply with section 3 as read with section 78 of the Public private partnership Act no. 15 of 2013 and as a consequence of which they improperly secured a commercial loan under the guise of a government to government agreement thus making the kenya government liable as a financier and borrower.
They were also accused of single sourcing an insurance policy and causing the government to lose Euros 42,088,198 (Sh5.56 billion at the current exchange rates).
Rotich was further accused of using his office as a cabinet secretary to confer contractual rights and benefits to CMC I Ravenna-Itinera joint venture against the government and unlawfully executing a facilities agreement.
Muriithi, the inspector general of state corporations was accused of giving a misleading report on the two dams to the CS East Africa Community and Regional Development, where KVDA falls under, causing losses to the government.
The DPP said the evidence in the case remains the same and they will not be introducing new documents nor shall they be introducing new witnesses.
“Currently there are two active cases, we had indicated we have no intention whatsoever to consolidate the two as much as they may share some accused persons, majority of the accused persons are different in the two cases,”said the prosecution.
This means there are now three different cases in respect of Kimwarer and Arror dam.