Directorate of Criminal Investigations will be questioning three Cabinet Secretaries over the awarding of a multibillion-shilling tender for construction of dams to a questionable firm.
Agriculture Cs Mwangi Kiunjuri, who was at the helm of the Devolution ministry when the Kimwarer and Arror dam contracts were signed, current Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and their Water counterpart Simon Chelugui, who will be questioned over the abandoned Itare Dam in Nakuru County, also awarded to the same Italian firm.
Besides the Cabinet Secretaries, the DCI said he will also be summoning “all past and present principal secretaries” from the time the projects were conceptualized.
Also lined up to appear this week is the Managing Director of Kerio Valley Development Authority, Mr David Kimosop, who signed the Arror and Kimwarer dam contracts.
The investigators are seeking to understand how a company with poor international ratings was awarded such a huge tender and paid colossal amounts of money in advance. At the time it clinched the tender, CMC di Ravenna was categorised by Standard and Poor’s as ‘CC’, meaning it was highly vulnerable.
Failure by the Italian firm to commence construction of both the Arror and Kimwarer dams, even after receiving Sh7 billion, has raised many questions and divided the Jubilee Party, with allies of Deputy President William Ruto saying the ongoing investigations are a political witch hunt.
The National Treasury said last week that a total of Sh21 billion has already been paid to the contractor and an insurance firm in Italy. Detectives have already questioned National Treasury CS Henry Rotich and handed a preliminary report to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Noordin Haji.
Last year, the company admitted in a press statement that it was going through “a moment of cash-flow tension” and announced it would not be able to pay back some loans that had matured.