Dams probe files are with DPP, as Kinoti fights back

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji (left) with his Criminal Investigations counterpart George Kinoti during the National Council on Administration of Justice meeting in Naivasha last month. [File, Standard]
The Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has handed over investigation files on Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal to Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

Officials aware of the investigation say the files that implicated top State officials were taken to Haji’s office at the weekend.

And separately, Mr Kinoti yesterday vowed that investigators would not be intimidated by attacks from politicians and declared that those who loot public funds must be prepared to answer for their crimes.

On the dams probe, the DCI has proposed that numerous individuals, including top Government officials, be charged with conspiracy to commit economic crimes, aiding the commission of an economic crime, abuse of office and negligence of official duty.

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A public officer found liable of the negligence of official duty could face life imprisonment.

The DPP will review the evidence and decide whether it is sufficient to prosecute the suspects, and if there are gaps direct further investigations.

Yesterday, Haji and Kinoti declined to comment on the details of the files, saying they would soon communicate to Kenyans on the way forward. 

Among those who have been questioned under caution are National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, top Kerio Valley Development Authority managers, led by the CEO David Kimosop, and a number of suppliers of goods and services for the construction of the dams.

This came as Kinoti and Haji on Sunday visited Itare Dam in Nakuru - the next focus for investigators.

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They said up to Sh11.5 billion of the Sh28 billion budgeted had been paid to the contractors, yet only about five per cent of the work had been done. A multi- agency team is now focusing on Itare Dam, which was being done by the same Italian contractor - CMC di Ravena - that is supposed to construct Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

After their visit to Itare, the two are said to have led an operation that saw detectives recover vehicles that were taken to Nakuru instead of Elgeyo Marakwet sites.

Vehicles diverted

The close to 10 vehicles had apparently been diverted to Itare Dam yet they were meant for the Arror site. Works on all the dams has stalled. 

Yesterday, Kinoti asked politicians to allow investigators space to do their work. 

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“We are working on the cases, let politicians give us space. I cannot give more information on the cases, as they are under investigation,” Kinoti said yesterday in Lamu during a court service week organised by the office of the DPP. 

Kinoti said despite a lot of politicking, the public would know the truth on the dam cases and those implicated. 

“As the police department, we are ready to see that mwananchi gets justice. We have the capacity to investigate. Let politicians stop peddling lies to wananchi. The DCI has the powers bestowed onto him by the Constitution to carry out investigations. We are already doing high-profile cases,” he added.

Kinoti has come under fire from allies of Deputy President William Ruto, who have accused him of being used to wage a partisan war on corruption designed to scuttle the DP’s presidential bid.

Last weekend, at a function attended by the DP, the politicians said the DCI had no legal backing to probe economic crimes. They asked the DCI to hand over the investigations to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

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“We are capable of fighting corruption. Let no one lie to Kenyans that the police department cannot fight corruption. We assure Kenyans that we will not be cowed. We will serve Kenyans faithfully and diligently. Anyone caught stealing public funds must be held accountable for their deeds,” said Kinoti.

He challenged the public to remain vigilant and report those who abused their offices to enrich themselves to the DCI.

“There is no officer who is supposed to enrich himself with your property. If there is any who has stolen your land or property, kindly give me the details and I will be the one to act on the case. If a police officer threatens you, do not shy away from reporting him/her, even if they issue threats.”

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George KinotiDams scandalArrorKimwarerNoordin Haji