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CMC Di Ravenna: Italian firm in dams scandal loses assets

By Wainaina Wambu | October 8th 2021
Auctioneers carted away the equipment and machinery from the firm’s yard within Molo Forest. [Kennedy Gachuhi, Standard]

Financiers have placed dozens of machinery and motor vehicles belonging to the Italian firm behind the multi-billion-shilling dams scandal up for sale.

Phillips International Auctioneers has invited bids for 67 of machinery and vehicles, including pick-up trucks, cement bulkers, fuel and water bowsers, tippers, prime movers, cranes and other construction machines belonging to CMC Di Ravenna.

Auctioneers carted away the equipment and machinery from the firm’s yard within Molo Forest.

The auction will happen on October 28. It was not immediately clear which lenders were behind the move after the firm was declared bankrupt in Italy. The company and several government officials, including former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, have been accused of inflating the cost of building two dams - Kimwarer and Arror - to Sh63 billion, up from an original cost of Sh46 billion. Absa Kenya had sought to auction over 90 vehicles belonging to the Italian firm over a Sh585 million loan advanced in 2017.

Several suppliers owed over Sh35 million for supplying goods such as spare parts and industrial items had also sought to attach the Italian firm’s assets such as prefabricated houses, construction and office equipment.

The machines and equipment being auctioned would have been used for the construction of the Sh34 billion Itare Dam project.

The firm got the tender to build the dam in 2014 but the project has since stalled even after it pocketed some payments.

Interested bidders for the machines and motor vehicles – whose years of manufacturing are between 2008 and 2017 – will pay a refundable deposit of Sh200,000 for each motor vehicle and Sh1 million for each machine in order to obtain a bidding number.

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