Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich aided the payment of Ksh11 billion to an Italian insurance company in the Arror and Kimwarer Dams saga, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has said in court.
In court documents, Haji revealed that Rotich aided the payment to an offshore account belonging to SACE Insurance, contrary to the law which requires that all payments be processed through the consolidated account in Kenya. This was a contravention of Section 50 (7) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
“SACE collected the Ksh11 billion from the four private commercial Italian banks and lenders (of what is falsely alleged to be a Government-to-Government loan) posed as having loaned the GOK the said money but instead of releasing the funds to GOK as required by our Constitution and our law, the applicant as Cabinet Secretary for Finance allowed and assisted SACE to pay themselves. The funds never saw a Kenya government bank account or the Consolidated Account,” say Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Gilbert Kitalia.
Court filings also revealed that the Ksh11 billion was borrowed from BNP Paribas Forties S.A. /N.V, Itesa Sanpaolo S.P.A., Unicredit S.P.A. and Unicredit Bank AG in April 2017.
Advance payments amounting to Ksh19 billion was made, which was later shared out in accounts belonging to the conspirators and their agents.
“This is an express and very serious breach of the law. It is also a necessary component of the conspiracy and the crimes alleged and gives life to the same since by bypassing the consolidated fund, payment of all kickbacks and the distribution of all proceeds of the crimes was made exponentially easy,” Mr Kitalia added.
The payments were made at a time when the designs of the dams had not been drawn while the Kenya Forest Service had declined to provide land.
Also, the contractor CMC Di Ravenna- Itinera JV was reported to have gone bankrupt even after receiving Ksh7.2 billion in advance pay for the project.
The money was then distributed to a web of associated companies in Kenya, South Africa and Italy that were not in tender documents.
Investigations also revealed that CMC Di Ravenna Itenera JV neither applied nor won the tenders. The tenders were won by Cooperativa Muratori & Cementisi CMC Ravenna-Societa Cooperativa.
However, Rotich eased out the names of the winning entities, and in their place put CMC Di Ravenna- Itinera JV.