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Ex-Treasury CS Henry Rotich’s corruption case on the verge of collapse

By Richard Munguti September 12th, 2023 2 min read

The Sh63 billion dam scam case against former Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and eight others is on the verge of collapsing after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) declined to lead evidence from six witnesses.

When the hearing resumed on September 12, 2023, state prosecutor Geoffrey Obiri presented five witnesses whom he did not ask a single question regarding the case

Obiri lined up Boniface Mamboleo, Festus Kivisu, Maina Kiondo, Benedict Omondi, and Kimani Kiiru before the anti-corruption court chief magistrate Eunice Nyuttu but indicated he had nothing to ask them regarding the Arror and Kimwarer dams case.

The five witnesses took less than 10 minutes in the dock as Obiri stated” I have no questions for each of these witnesses.”
Ms Nyutu discharged the witnesses saying “The court notes the prosecution has no questions for the witnesses.”

Ruled she “You are hereby discharged. ”

That was the trend for each of the five witnesses who had been brought to court under warrants of arrest.

Obiri informed the court he would line two other witnesses from the controller of Budgets on September 13, 2023.

He further presented a letter from the office of the Auditor General where by the office expressed concern and shock over the warrants of arrest issued against the intended witnesses from the office.

“We express concern that warrants were issued against officers from this office who had not been served with any court summons requiring them to attend court to testify in the four-year-old case, ” stated the letter in part.

The office informed the court that one of the witnesses Cecilia Karuka will not be in a position to attend court since she is auditing counties.

The magistrate read the letter loudly noting that the investigating officer had informed the court that he had served witnesses summons contrary to contention by the Auditor General’s office.

The matter has of late been locked with frustrations after the DPP failed to lead evidence from the witnesses saying they are waiting for instructions from the new DPP when he assumes office.

Obiri told the court that the new DPP would review the charges against Rotich.

At the same time, the DPP has filed a formal application urging Nyutu to recuse herself from the case citing bias and hostility.

” That court has exhibited bias and hostility towards the prosecution, ”

The DPP accuses the magistrate of openly pronouncing herself that ” she feels that the Prosecution and investigators are inclined to negatively interfere with the Prosecution of the matter.”

Further, the DPP contends that the court perceives that the plea to adjourn the case to await the decision of the new DPP Renson Ingonga amounts to an interference with the prosecution of the matter.

As a consequence the court has repeatedly refused to grant the prosecutions merited adjournments.

” The court has often times granted the prosecution unreasonable short timelines to procure the attendance of witnesses often at times within an hour, ” state prosecutor Oliver Muriethi states in his affidavit.

The prosecution says that the court has been compelling it to proceed with the hearing contrary to express orders of the High Court which require the office to meet certain timelines when serving defense counsel.

The magistrate however directed that the defence file their responses to the application within 14 days.

Rotich is charged with abuse of office and corruption.

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