Italian firms who were contracted for the Sh63 billion Kimwarer and Arror have blamed President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto for the cancellation of the project.
In filings before the International Court of Arbitration, Cooperativa Muratori & Cementisti -CMC Di Ravenna Societa Cooperativa (Italy), Itinera S.P.A and CMC Di Ravanna- Itinera JV S.C.P.A have pointed fingers at the power struggle between Uhuru and Ruto led to the cancellation of the project.
The three firms in their filing allege that the cancellation of the Arror and Kimwarer dams was meant to derail DP Ruto’s quest for Presidency in the 2022 General Election.
The firms quoted Press reports, saying DP Ruto has been a vocal supporter of the projects because it would benefit people in his backyard.
“It seems hardly coincidental that the highest-ranking official to be investigated and charged in the criminal proceedings is Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Henry Rotich, an ally of DP Ruto,” states the court document.
DP Ruto was so much vocal in defending the two projects after it came out the money was siphoned by powerful individuals.
The Italian firms who are facing trial now blame the Arror and Kimwarer scandal for the political animosity between Uhuru and DP Ruto.
“The above explains how and why a joint venture of respected world-class engineering and construction companies, with an impressive track record of major works worldwide, was entangled in criminal proceedings in Kenya, charged with conspiring with no less a State entity (KVDA), a Kenyan ministry (Treasury) and possible even with international first-rate banks and Italian credit agency,” the firms state.
According to Business Daily, Italian firms said it was not until 2019, two years after the conclusion of the contracts, that investigations pointed at a number of alleged illegalities in connection with the projects.
They have denied being involved in any irregularities in both Arror and Kimwarer dam tenders.
The Italian firms sued Kenya before the international court last December, demanding more than Sh11 billion for canceling the contracts.
“Accordingly, order KVDA to pay the claimants all the amounts provisionally indicated as US$114,177,645, or any other different sum that will result due to claimants in the course of the proceedings, plus interest as applicable,” say the court papers.
Former CS Rotich on the other hand is being accused by DPP Noordin Haji of single-handedly awarding the tenders to the Chinese firms.
Evidence presented in court by the prosecution alleges that CMC Di Ravenna- Itinera JV was paid Sh4.3 billion on September 27, 2018, as an advance payment for Arror dam. For Kimwarer dam, an advance payment of Sh3.5 billion was allegedly approved on July 2, 2018.
This sheds more light on the case as fresh prosecution begins.
SOURCE: Business Daily