Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui allegedly purchased a two hundred acre piece of land worth Sh300 million just two weeks after he returned from an official visit to Italy in the company of Deputy President William Ruto.
Chelugui paid for the land upfront in cash toward the end of last year to one Parminder Singh who is logger and proprietor of the Elgeyo Saw Mills.
According to sources familiar with the Chelugui’s land deal, Hekiro Investments which is associated with the CS made a remittance of Sh300 million to one Mr Singh. The deal was brokered through one Josephat Lowoi, MCA Karuna – Meibeki Ward and presently Majority Leader in neighbouring Uasin Gishu County Assembly.
The entire deal was apparently executed by proxy on behalf of Deputy President William Ruto.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigation is currently probing a multi-billion scandal involving the cash strapped Italian construction firm CMC di Ravenna which paid huge bribes to senior Jubilee government officials out of a Sh4.9 billion down payment it irregularly received last year for the design of Arror hydro-power dam in Kerio Valley, Elgeyo Marakwet County.
CS Chelugui was part of the delegation which accompanied DP Ruto on an official visit to Italy at which time the kickbacks were allegedly paid.
Prior to travelling to Italy, DP Ruto allegedly influenced the appointment of former Keiyo South MP Jackson Kiptanui as chairman Kerio Vallet Development Authority. But even before Kiptanui’s appointment one David Kimosop was re-appointed managing director.
Between the two top executives and members of the board, DP Ruto systematically ‘bought’ the project committee members and those who raised queries were not included in meetings held in high end hotels in Eldoret.
In massively manipulated public participation meetings, Kimosop procured services of select security officers and those who would raise a voice during such meetings were often whisked away.
Sources informed Kenyan News Day each security officer was paid Sh1000 for every meeting attended.Their seniors of course pocketed more.
Mainstream media reporters were heavily compromised with a special team of journalists would cover KVDA functions.Even those on leave or off duty would be present during such meetings.
In a public rally held at Moi Kapsowar Girls last year, furious Deputy President William Ruto did not hesitate to declare on whose side he stood, publicly vowing that the government would crush all those against the construction of Arror Dam terming them ‘enemies of development’.
Months later, turns out that what is believed to be one of the biggest scandals to have engulfed the Jubilee administration was carefully scripted and arranged by DP Ruto himself.
It has now emerged that the insolvent contractor was awarded five state contracts cumulatively worth Sh150 billion for construction of dams across three counties.
There is the Radat dam in Marigat, Baringo County worth Sh20 billion and Kithinu dam in Nkubu, Meru County costing the tax payer Sh26 billion.
This is in addition to three other mega dams awarded to bankrupted CMC di Ravenna which it is supposed to build in Rift Valley region; Itare dam in Nakuru County worth Sh38 billion, Arror dam for Sh38 billion and Kimwarer dam for Sh28 billion, the latter two situated in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
All the three projects are being financed through commercial loans from Italian banks underwritten by the Italian government.
Interestingly, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, local members of parliament Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Keiyo South, James Murgor (Keiyo North) and William Kisang (Marakwet West) – all close allies of Deputy President William Ruto – have maintained a studious silence over the scandal.
If successfully implemented, the Arror Dam and Kimwarer Dam projects would have radically transformed the lives of thousands of people living along the Kerio Valley.
Kenyan News Day will be in the coming weeks run a blow by blow serialisation of how staggering Sh6 billion kickback was shared out among the top allies of DP Ruto.