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DPP, DCI probe on dams now targeting proceeds of crime

Haji and Kinoti are working closely in the dams mega scandal probe. Photo/COURTESY.

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 9 – The investigations into the Sh63 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal in Elgeyo Marakwet has now shifted to identifying property acquired using the funds or where the money is stashed.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Friday announced that his office is working closely with that of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in ensuring that suspects are not only arrested and prosecuted, but also return what was stolen.

“We must get a handle on more than Sh21 billion that has already been paid out, trace where and to whom every shilling has been paid to so as to trace and establish any intended corrupt payments if any and the recipients thereof,” Haji said in a statement, that also confirmed that experts from his office are working closely with the DCI.

“I constituted a team of prosecutors to work closely with the DCI to ensure that the investigations into these projects are meticulous, comprehensive and expeditiously carried out,” he said.

So far questioned is Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) top officials as well as directors of more than 100 companies said to have profiteered from the scam—some supplying goods and services not related to the dams.

“I have also noted the shocking magnitude of the amounts involved and the range of parties that are of interest to the investigations,” Haji said, without naming names.

This, he said, “has in turn made investigations complex requiring investigators to cover a wide range of areas.”

Capital FM News has learnt that the DCI boss intends to apply for international warrants of arrest of some of the players in foreign land—including directors of companies involved directly or indirectly in the whole project.

The investigations into the dams scandal has drawn the wrath of the Deputy President William Ruto and leaders allied to him, who claim that the probe is selective with pre-meditated outcome.

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“The biggest threat to the war against corruption is selective investigations,” Ruto has said repeatedly since the investigations started, in what has been echoed by his allies like Kipchumba Murkomen, the vocal Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, in whose region the dams were to be constructed.

In a series of tweets on Friday night, Murkomen faulted the DPP’s statement, and offered to assist to get the investigators to understand complex financial contracts which, he said, they know little about.

But the DPP has directed him to take any information he has to the DCI to assist in the investigations.

In the scandal, Treasury is accused of paying an Italian company CMC di Ravena long before works is done, in what is shaping out to be one of the biggest scandals in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

But President Kenyatta has expressed satisfaction in the investigative agencies, saying they have his full support, while declaring that “none one will be spared.”

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