, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – The technical team formed to “facilitate successful prosecution,” of the Anglo-Leasing corruption case has asked for more time to complete its work.
The team of members drawn from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) had asked for two more months but was granted a month by the DPP Keriako Tobiko and EACC Chairperson Mumo Matemu on Wednesday.
“During the second joint ODPP/EACC consultative meeting held today (Wednesday), the team whilst reporting the significant progress so far made, nonetheless requested for two more months in order to accomplish the outstanding assignment,” a statement signed by Tobiko and Matemu reads.
The statement went on to detail the outstanding assignment as, “new leads to be pursued, outstanding requests for mutual legal assistance, the number of crucial witnesses yet to record statements and the voluminous documents to be reviewed.”
The technical team was formed on October 30 to perform these tasks and was to report back within 30 days. Now the team has another 30 days to not only report back but finalise its work as per Tobiko and Matemu’s directive.
The EACC on October 16 recommended the prosecution of several individuals linked to the multi-billion shilling Anglo Leasing scandal.
The commission’s chairperson, Mumo Matemu did not however name the individuals the commission wants charged in court, only saying they will await Tobiko’s directive.
In the files sent to the DPP, the commission however dropped charges earlier recommended on some of the suspects saying they are no longer tenable.
The DPP has called for patience following numerous inquiries of people seeking to know the identities of the suspects, saying any premature disclosure may lead to pre-emptive injunctions that can hinder justice.
“This is likely to happen again in event of pre-mature disclosure of names of suspects. I would therefore urge patience until I have reviews the files and made my decision thereon. Such decision and the reason therefore will be made public,” the DPP cautioned.
The investigation on one of the country’s mega scandals had stalled for years partly due to constitutional applications and other injunctions which blocked the probe.
The start of the Anglo Leasing scandal was the contracting of a loan in December 2003 by the Department of Immigration which was then under the Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Home Affairs.
The purpose of the loan was to enhance security by modernizing the issuance of secure passports and purchase of security equipment for use at Kenya’s borders.
The procurement process was however abused and a company going by the name Anglo Leasing and Finance Company Ltd was awarded the tender and Sh93 million paid up-front.
This became public on May 4, 2004 when the matter was raised in Parliament.
In August 2004, the Ministry of Finance suspended payments of all the loans similar to Anglo Leasing and instructed the Controller and Auditor-General to carry out a special audit.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also investigated the matter and on March 30, 2006, its chairman tabled the report on “Special Audit on Procurement of Passport Issuing Equipment.”
The report was adopted by Parliament on 4th April 2006.
It covered all the 18 contracts and recommended that all contracts that had not been commenced should be terminated while those which had commenced should be re-negotiated with strict adherence to the procurement regulations and procedures.
It also recommended investigation and prosecution of all implicated.