Kenya’s finance minister, Henry Rotich will be arrested and charged over alleged corruption related to the construction of two dams, the chief prosecutor said on Monday.
The charges against Rotich arise from a police investigation into the misuse of funds in a dam project overseen by the Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna. Both Rotich and the company denied any wrongdoing.
Rotich and his co-accused face eight charges, ranging from conspiring to defraud and financial misconduct, said Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions. The minister and other officials will immediately have to resign and will be arrested and taken to court, he said.
Kenyan prosecutors have requested help from British and Italian authorities, he said, and more charges could result.
The minister will be charged alongside 27 other senior officials, including Italian Paolo Porcelli, the director of CMC di Ravenna; and Rotich’s number two at the ministry, Kamau Thugge, the principal secretary.
“They broke the law on public finance management under the guise of carrying out legitimate commercial transactions, colossal amounts were unjustifiably and illegally paid out through a well choreographed scheme by government officers in collusion with private individuals and institutions,” Haji told a news conference.
The two dams were budgeted to cost 46 billion shillings ($446 million), he said, but the treasury borrowed far more.
“The national treasury negotiated a commercial facility increasing the amount to approximately 63 billion shillings – which is 17 billion more than necessary or required, payable on a timely basis without regard to a performance or works,” he said.
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