by Robert Guyana

Former  Treasury CS Henry Rotich is now a free man despite Sh 63B Dam scandal.

He has bee freed by  the Nairobi anti-corruption court which  acquitted him on Ksh 63 billion Arror and Kimwaer multipurpose dam scandal citing lack of evidence from the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

Milimani Anti-Corruption Magistrate Eunice Nyutu freed Rotich and his eight co-accused of all the 30 corruption charges after the prosecution failed to prove their case to warrant putting the accused persons on their defense.

“All the accused persons in this case are thereby acquitted under section 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code due to lack of evidence as a result of the reckless dereliction of duty by the prosecution, “ruled the Magistrate.

While acquitting Rotich, the magistrate faulted and lectured the prosecution over how they handled the case saying it appeared “to be a well-choreographed acquittal” as they availed 49 witnesses and only led eight witnesses in evidence.

The magistrate noted that 41 witnesses including former Agriculture CS Peter Munya were available in court by the DCI but the prosecution declined to lead them in court.

Nyutu wondered why at the beginning of the case the prosecution had informed the court that they had watertight evidence to show that the accused persons did not only steal Ksh 63 billion in scandal but more than Ksh 80 billion were indeed stolen from public coffers.

According to the Magistrate, the Prosecution had informed the court that indeed they would prove that Rotich and his co-accused persons abused their offices believing that they would never leave power.

“I do not understand how the prosecution’s tone to avail the said evidence changed immediately after the eighth witness testified and approached the court saying they had instructions to withdraw the entire case against the accused persons. It is my view the Prosecution acted malicious because at the time of charging it is believed they had sufficient evidence to prosecute their case to conclusion,” Nyutu said.

Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich was charged afresh in the year 2021 over the Sh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal after the prosecution dropped former PSs Kamau Thugge and Susan Koech from the case.

Mr Rotich was charged together with former Kerio Valley Development Authority managing director David Kimosop, Kennedy Nyakundi (chief economist Treasury), Jackson Njau Kinyanjui (director of resource mobilisation – Treasury) and Titus Muriithi, the inspector general of state corporations.

The prosecution also dropped from the case 18 Italians who own the companies that benefitted from the tender and intends to charge them separately.

Mr Rotich denied more than 20 counts including abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud, willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement and engaging in a project without prior planning.

In the first count, the court heard that Mr Rotich, Mr Kimosop, Mr Nyakundi and Mr Kinyanjui and Mr Titus Muriithi conspired to defraud the government of $ 501,829,769 by entering into the construction of the two dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County, yet the project had not been approved.

They allegedly committed the offence between December 17, 2014 and January 31, 2019 by improperly securing a commercial loan under the guise that it was a government to government agreement and in the process made the government of Kenya liable as a financier and borrower.

They are also accused of single sourcing an insurance policy and caused the government to lose Euros 42,088,198 (Sh5.56 billion at the current exchange rates).

Mr Rotich was further acussed of using his office as a cabinet secretary to confer contractual rights and benefits to CMC I Ravenna-Itinera joint venture against the government and unlawfully executing a facilities agreement.

Mr Muriithi, the inspector general of state corporations, was accused of giving a misleading report on the two dams to the CS East Africa Community and Regional Development, where KVDA falls under, causing losses to the government.

The trial of the suspects was  delayed since July 2019 because the police were yet to arrest the officials of the Italians companies that were involved in the projects.

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