Former AG makes startling revelations about scandalous dams project
Former Attorney General Githu Muigai’s legal advice against signing a deal with CMC di Ravenna for the construction of the two dams was ignored by the National Treasury.
These revelations have come to light after it emerged that the former was on Friday questioned by investigators from Directorate of Criminal Investigations over Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal
During the questioning, which was conducted in high secrecy, Githu has told police that Treasury headed by Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich ignored his legal advice against signing a deal with CMC di Ravenna for the construction of the two dams.
According to our sources, the former AG wanted the deal signed only after due diligence had been followed on the Italian firm’s financial and legal status.
Despite his warning, the National Treasury and the Kerio Valley Development Authority sealed the multi-billion-shilling deal. The deal of 65 billion was signed.
CMC Di Ravenna, which has been declared bankrupt at home in Italy, has abandoned the hydro-power and drinking water projects in Nakuru and Elgeyo Marakwet counties despite receiving a down payment from which it is alleged the kickbacks were paid.
Githu, according to investigators, received a request from the KVDA (Kerio Valley Development Authority) seeking his legal opinion on the construction of the two dams in March 2017.
In September, KVDA wrote to the AG’s office, saying that they were not in a position to conduct due diligence on the company that was to undertake the construction, yet the contract had already been signed in April 2017.
This was also seven months after the former AG had warned against the signing of the agreement without a due diligence report that would have revealed the financial position of the troubled Italian firm.
In the coming days, the investigators will seek statements from the current AG, Kihara Kariuki, former Solicitor General Njee Muturi and Ken Ogeto who is the current Solicitor General.
The DCI is treating these individuals as state witnesses as they were in office when the controversial deal was signed.
Following the scandal, Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture) have recorded statements with the DCI.
Treasury PS Kamau Thugge, as the accounting officer in the ministry, has also recorded statements with the police.
KVDA chief David Kimosop who was required to present to the police all correspondence and contracts signed with the contractors.
According to detectives, in the Arror dam case, an advance payment of Sh4.5 billion was made. Another Sh6.1 billion was paid to an Italian insurance firm, SACE S.p.A, and a commitment fee of Sh490 million was also paid, making it a total of Sh11.1 billion.
For Kimwarer dam, the detectives established that Sh4.99 billion had been made an advance payment. Another Sh3.5 billion was paid as a commitment fee, while the same Italian insurance company received Sh418 million, making it a total of Sh8.9 billion.
The DCI also established that Sh900 million has been spent as compensation for land acquired for the projects.