Kenya’s DPP orders arrest of minister over dams scandal

Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has ordered the arrest of Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich among other government officials over the multibillion-shilling Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.

Top government officials are said to have bent the rules and misled the public about the state of national finances, in order to award the tender to the bankrupt Italian firm CMC Di Ravenna.

The company was to finance the Arror and Kimwarer dams project but the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) and the National Treasury went ahead to spend Ksh20.5 billion ($205 million) of taxpayers’ money on the ghost projects.

The contract signed between the KVDA and CMC Di Ravenna was to see the Italian firm dig into its own pockets to complete the projects, set up a power plant, transmission lines and other related infrastructure and recover its money by selling power to the government for an unspecified number of years before handing back the dams to the government.

Instead, the National Treasury shopped for expensive loans in Italy and spent Ksh20.5 billion ($205 million) for which Cabinet approval was sought.

The dams were strongly opposed by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), which owned the tracts of forest-covered land that was acquired for the ghost projects.