Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has revealed three Cabinet Secretaries set to be grilled this week over awarding of multibillion-shilling dams tender to a questionable firm, CMC di Ravena.
Kinoti told the Nation that Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri who was at the helm of the Devolution ministry when the Kimwarer and Arrow dams contracts were signed, current Devolution CS Eugine Wamalwa and Water and Sanitation CS Simon Chelugui will be questioned either on Monday or Tuesday.
Kinoti further revealed that the office of the DCI will also summon all past and present principal secretaries from the time the projects were conceptualized.
“This is a complex investigation and we want to hear from all those who were involved to understand why there a rush to reward the contract,” Kinoti told the local daily.
Also targeted by the sleuths this week is the Managing Director of Kerio Valley Development Authority, Mr David Kimosop.
Mr Kimosop is said to have signed the Arrow and Kimwarer dam contracts.
Investigators will be seeking answers on how a company with “poor international ratings” was awarded the tenders and paid huge sums of money in advance.
“We want to understand why the officials were in a hurry to award these tenders and lift the lid on this theft,” Kinoti said.
The revelations come at a time when the alleged broke Italy firm is said to have been kicked out of Nepal following accusations of poor execution of project timelines, further, downgraded by an American rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, to “junk company” category D.
Last week, Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich spent the better part of the week at the DCI headquarters answering questions on controversial payments for the construction of the stalled Arror and Kimwarer Dams saga in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
Rotich was asked to explain how and why he released the money without designs and bill of quantity among other related questions arising from the probe.
The summons comes amid a heated debate on the war against graft with Deputy President William Ruto being asked by a section of opposition leaders to declare his interest on the war against graft following his remarks that Sh21 billion scam was a flat lie.
The DP said the money under investigation was about Sh7 billion and that no money would be lost since Procurement and Construction plus Financing (EPC+F ) comes with a protected bank or insurance guarantee.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga slammed the DP for allegedly interfering with the investigations on the case by giving contrary information.
“Don’t come and tell us that it was not Sh20 billion, it is only Sh7 billion… Who are you tell us… How did you know?” Raila said.
In response, DP Ruto said his interest is majorly anchored on the fact that the dams were key government projects, and it is his duty to keenly monitor the implementation of the government’s agenda and be watchful on the amounts spent.
“As deputy president I have an interest in the construction of the dams; a major interest. This is because with President Uhuru Kenyatta we put 57 dams to be constructed over the next 5 years in the manifesto of the Jubilee Party,” he said.
On the other hand, a section of leaders allied to the DP claim the war against corruption has been weaponised to target individuals from a certain community.
Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkumen, on whose county the projects are located, has been very vocal on the dam probe, accusing Kinoti of playing politics with the fight on corruption.
“Politics should be left to politicians, ” he said during a senate sitting last week.
“Others matters of the State, such as fighting corruption and national development, should be done objectively. I urge the DCI, before he embarks on any investigations of this nature, to engage experts with the necessary knowledge on these type of contracts and how such projects are implemented,” he added.