Two Cabinet Secretaries face arrest as Uhuru plans reshuffle

President Uhuru Kenyatta. /FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta. /FILE

At least two Cabinet secretaries are facing arrest for their role in the Kerio Valley Development Authority’s Sh63 billion dam projects.

This comes in the wake of reports that President Uhuru Kenyatta is considering a major reshuffle.

The Star reported on Thursday that Uhuru is unhappy with the negative publicity his government is receiving and plans to ask those linked to corruption to resign or be fired.

“The President has been consulting. He is very unhappy that some of the people he has trusted to serve Kenyans have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar,” a senior official at Harambee house said.

Uhuru has asked the DCI to expedite investigations into scandals that have hit his government.

On Wednesday investigators told the Star that at least two Cabinet secretaries could face charges of negligence or even conspiracy to steal public funds meant for dams in Rift Valley.

The two are among a number of people DCI George Kinoti is investigating for the possible loss of Sh63 billion, which was meant for the construction of Arror and Kamwarer dams in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

“There are places where clear offences have been committed. In such cases all we are looking for now is more evidence and co-conspirators in the crimes committed,” Kinoti said.

CCTV footage

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Tuesday started to examine how the billions paid to an Italian firm by Treasury for construction of the dams was shared.

It is understood that police have obtained CCTV footage of senior government official who met and received money from representatives of the company.

The footage was retrieved from the hotel where the official stayed while abroad. It clearly shows the Italians and the Kenyan entourage that received the cash in hard currency.

The official and his team then travelled to Nairobi on their diplomatic passports with the loot, which has been kept in a bunker in a palatial home in Nairobi.

Yesterday KVDA boss David Kimosop recorded a statement with the police and denied claims that Sh63 billion had been stolen and no work had been done.

He was questioned by investigators from the Economic Crimes Unit at the DCI headquarters, Kiambu road. Lawyer Katwa Kigen accompanied him.

Kigen refused to comment when reached on the phone.

Economic Crime Unit chief Michael Sang also declined to comment. “The matter is still under investigation and I have no comment,” he said.

Sang is said to have provided investigators documents that the police said contain contracts of due diligence which KVDA performed.

Kimosop is among top-ranking government and parastatal chiefs who have so far been questioned over the controversial dams construction.

Kinoti has summoned representatives of companies that were linked to the controversial deals. Representatives from 17 companies have so far appeared before DCI investigators.

Each company was required to explain its role in the construction.

“No offence has been committed here and we can account for all the money that has been given to us,” Kimosop said last evening.

But even as police went on with their investigations, pressure mounted on Uhuru to fire ministers linked to corruption.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli demanded that the officials step down to allow for investigations.

They said if Uhuru fails to sack them, Kenyans will hunt down corrupt suspects and arrest them.

“The government’s enemy is not the trade unions but those involved in stealing taxpayers’ funds. Workers just need trade unions to secure their interests,” Raila said.

They were addressing unions, media, and government officials during the 30th Pan-African trade unions’ anniversary at a Nairobi hotel.

A certain someone

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi on Tuesday demanded Uhuru sack Treasury CS Henry Rotich and his Water counterpart Simon Chelugui.

“If some of them will not be put in jail, I can tell you, your Excellency, that citizens are going to take action. We know where the criminals live,” Atwoli said.

The leaders said stolen public funds end up at a particular top government official, whom they want investigated.

“We cannot sit down and see poor people suffer while one greedy person is busy illegally amassing wealth. It is immoral, evil and bad to deny Kenyans good health, good transport, and good lives,” Atwoli said.

Raila said, “All the money stolen ends up in the same hands which are known to everyone. The main suspect is also known.”

The leaders said they will take matters into their own hands if people accused of corruption are left to roam free.

“We might not have a country tomorrow. Kenyans will be forced to pay for loans that never helped them,” Atwoli said.

The DCI is investigating Sh38 billion irregularly allocated to an Italian company to build Arror dam.

The project was done without regard for the procurement procedure. Others are Itare Dam Water Supply Project in Nakuru and Kimwarer Multipurpose Dam in Elgeyo Marakwet.

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