Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior has demanded the sacking of Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich and the Permanent secretary Kamau Thugge. This is after the two were arrested monday over the Kimwarer and Arror dam scandal. The senator stated that the current actions of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) were not enough. He noted that the arrests were an admission of grand theft at the treasury.
“The arrest and intended of CS Henry Rotich and PS Thugge is a bold admission of grand heist by the purse keeper . It is not enough to prosecute; they should be relieved of their duties. It is not a contradiction of chapter 6 on leadership and integrity. Kudos Mr President.” The senator stated through his twitter handle which he often uses to comment on national governance matters.
DPP Mr. Noordin Haji earlier today ordered the arrest of officials implicated in the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal. Mr. Henry Rotich was one of the officials named in the order. The DPP had alleged that Rotich was involved in the illegal tendering and payment processes of the project.
“Upon investigations by the DCI, it was established that the conception, procurement and payment process for the Arror and Kimwarer Dam projects in Elgeyo Marakwet County were riddled with massive illegalities. Having established this, the DCI and I set up a joint team that
conducted further in-depth investigations which revealed that several persons and legal entities committed criminal acts and
omissions. ” a statement by the DPP read.
Henry Rotich and Kamau Thugge allegedly facilitated irregular payments and loss of money through exchange rates. This according to the statement was by entering a facility contract in Euros resulting in the loss of taxpayers’ money.
Mr. Haji also found fault in Kerio Valley Development Authority officials awarding the tender to the CMC De Ravenna construction company. The officials awarded the tender knowing very well that the firm was bankrupt according to Mr. Haji.
“The investigations established that government officials flouted all procurement rules and abused their oath of office to ensure the scheme went through. Many procurement procedures as stipulated by the law for such projects were ignored and the law was circumvented to ensure that CMC di Ravenna got the contract.” The DPP added.
CS Henry Rotich and 27 others will be charged for abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud. Another charge for the accused will be engaging in a project without prior planning. In addition, the accused will be charged with failing to comply with applicable procedures, among other charges.
Cynism among Kenyans
Theft of public resources by government officials has been a major concern for Kenyans over the decades. The highest magnitudes of this theft have been argued to remain at the national government. This is based on the national government’s budget whose amounts rise to as much as Ksh 3 Trillion annually. The national budget compares dismally to the annual devolution budget at about Kshs. 320 million in the fiscal year 2019/20. County governments have been accused of replicating corruption albeit at a smaller scale in the new devolved system.
The arrests ordered by Mr. Noordin Haji come as a significant departure from the norm where officials implicated in corruption are merely threatened with arrests that eventually do not bear fruit. Kenyans have for decades been cynical about meaningful and sustained efforts against corruption in Government. Many will observe this renewed energy by Mr. Haji to see if their cynism remains justified. Similar action is yet to be seen responding to the theft and wastage of public resources at the county government level.