Court told Uhuru, Gumo, Michuki approved Arror and Kimwarer project concept

Hz dam in Metkei where the famous Kimwarer dam was to be constructed by the Jubilee government before it was called off by the former president Uhuru Kenyatta. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

A witness says Arror and Kimwarer dams project were planned and approved by former President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Grand Coalition government.

Ms Charity Mui was shown a document signed by Uhuru on August 4 2009 when he was the Deputy Prime Minister and she confirmed the project to construct the two dams was among those approved by the Cabinet.

"It is true the project was among those approved in 2009 which is way before Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) advertised for the construction of the two dams in 2014," she said.

Ms Mui, who was KVDA secretary for the tender committee that evaluated the contracts, was being cross-examined in the case where former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich is charged with conspiracy to defraud Sh63 billion for construction of the two dams.

Rotich is facing trial alongside former KVDA boss David Kimosop, former Chief Economist Kennedy Nyakundi, and former Nema MD Geoffrey Wahungu. Others are Jackson Kinyanjui, William Kipkemboi, Paul Kipkoech, Francis Chepkonga and Titus Muriithi.

Ms Mui was being cross-examined by lawyer Katwa Kigen and when asked about the projects, she stated that the dams' project were in line with KVDA strategic development plan that had been approved by the Cabinet.

Mr Kigen showed the witness the Cabinet memorandum for regional development which covered Tana and Athi River Development Authority, Lake Basin Development Authority, KVDA, and Coast Development Authority which she confirmed were the concepts for developing Arror and Kimwarer.

In the concept signed by Uhuru, and former ministers Fred Gumo and John Michuki in 2008, the government had approved construction of the dams and gave the Ministry of Regional Development and the Treasury approval go ahead with the project.

Asked whether the project was advertised without authorisation, Ms Mui stated that she was not sure but a decision had been made to procure services for construction of the two dams before the advertisement.

"The decision to procure the construction of Arror and Kimwarer had been made before the tender was advertised. This was done after the agricultural engineer requested the managing director to approve the procurement," she said. The hearing continues.

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