Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) has broken its silence on embezzlement allegations in the construction of Arror and Kamwarer multi-purpose dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
In a full-page advert, KVDA says the stalled projects are on schedule and will be completed within the contracted period.
This comes barely three days before the directors of 107 firms implicated in the scam, presented themselves at Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters on Tuesday, to provide key information that will help in the ongoing probe.
KVDA has now come out boldly, saying that the implementation of the two dams followed all legal considerations, and termed the much-hyped stories on the projects as misleading and outrageous.
"As the Authority welcomes investigative agencies to conduct a thorough probe on the allegations, we want to state categorically that no work has stalled," says KVDA.
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CMC di Ravenna
Opposed to earlier reports to the effect that some prominent individuals had received kickbacks for various services connected to the dams, KVDA says that funds acquired from the Italian government for the project were based on the Engineering, Procurement and Construction plus Financing (EPC+F) model.
In that context the contract agreement with the firm (CMC di Ravenna), was signed prior to the signing of the loan agreement, between the National Treasury and the Italian government with respect to EPC+F model, says KVDA.
As per the payment made to the contractor, KVDA says the contract had stipulated a down payment of 15 per cent of the total contract sum, to facilitate mobilisation and designs.
"Advance payments is a loan to the contractor that will be recovered from subsequent certificates of work done. Advanced payments are made in all contracts of these nature and this is not peculiar in any way,'' says KVDA.
The Authority has also defended CMC Di Ravenna on the allegations that it had vacated the site.
According to KVDA the contractor has been on the ground for over a year and has completed preliminary activities for the project, including project surveys, geotechnical and seismic refraction investigations, quarry surveys and preparation of designs among others.
CMC had earlier defended itself against bankruptcy allegations, saying it was stable and able to complete the project within the agreed timelines.
Land for the projects
A total of 2,400 hectares of land is required for the construction works. According to KVDA, 2,000 hectares will be acquired from private land, while 400 hectares will come from public forests.
In the process, the authority will provide 570 hectares of land from the private land to Kenya Forest Service for afforestation.
KVDA also says the National Land Commission has already published a Gazette Notice no. 925 of February 1, 2019, for the intention of acquiring the land required for the project.
On the other hand, KVDA says it will use Sh643 million received from the government, during the financial year 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 for resettlement and compensation of people affected by the projects.
The authority also says various steps have been made concerning the projects, including land valuations and mapping of irrigation areas, as well as layout plan for the campsite and industrial areas among others.