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Dam scandal arrests: Murkomen calls DPP's charges a charade

NAIROBI
By Japheth Ogila | July 22nd 2019

Senator Kipchumba Murkomen addresses the media on Kiambu Road. He was on his way to DCI headquarters where CS Henry Rotich was taken for questioning over Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal. [Image: Courtesy]

Barely hours after DPP Noordin Haji announced the prosecution of Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal suspects, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has described charges pressed against them as a charade.

Senator Murkomen has been quoted telling the media: "I have looked at the charge sheets and I can tell you the entire thing is a charade."

Murkomen, who visited the DCI headquarters, said that he was there as a lawyer for the suspects.

Political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi also waded in the debate after Rotich presented himself to the DCI headquarters for questioning calling for the arrest of the 'influential person' whose home was used to keep Sh4 billion.

Ngunyi tweeted:  "According to DCI, 4 billion was withdrawn in cash from a Westlands bank. It was taken to the home of some influential big person. After "Henry Rotich" will they arrest this big person? I have a bad Feeling."

Former Nasa Political Strategist economist David Ndii also twitted on the matter.

"My friend Kamau Thugge kept confronting me about the Eurobond, insisting that it was legit and I was playing politics. I told him the story of Dr. Koinange and Goldenberg, warned him that he would be the fall guy and the crooks would go free. Now see." he wrote on his twitter account.

In his Monday morning press conference where he named suspects in the dams’ scandal, Haji ended his speech with a strong warning against inciting the public in the wake of the arrests and prosecutions.

Haji said that he was 'taking his work seriously' and carrying out duties as enshrined in the Constitution.

The DPP had earlier directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to arrest National Treasury CS Henry Rotich, his PS Kamau Thugge and 25 other state officials over the multi-billion dams scandal.

The suspects are to be charged with abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud contrary to the law, engaging in a project without proper planning, flouting public finance management procedures and disregarding the procurement rules in awarding Italian CMC di Ravenna the contract.

He noted that the National Treasury inflated the amount of the project from Sh46 billion by an additional Sh17 billion adding more tax burden on the taxpayer.

Mr Haji said that given the international nature of the economic crime in question, his office had roped in other foreign governments and plans are underway to effect assets recovery in the interest of the public.

He said Italian and British governments are ready to join in to help in the fight against economic crime.

Haji said that the charges have been preferred against the suspects based on the evidence received by the DPP's office. And, that there was no malice or political persuasion behind the charges.

When asked whether the suspects are expected to step aside, the DPP said: "They will have to step aside…these are not governors. I will write to the Head of Public Service. I will do it right away. That is the law. If you're charged and you take a plea, you have to step aside."

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