DPP: Witness in Sh63b Arror and Kimwarer dams case not ready to testify

Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich (right) and Kamau Thuge at Milimani Law Court in Nairobi. [File, Standard]

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has dismissed reports that a witness in the Sh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal failed to testify.

The witness, identified as Gideon Rotich, instead sought more time to gather evidence and be prepared to stand in court, Haji said in a statement on Friday.

“We would like to clarify that the second witness, Gideon Rotich, did not testify because he was not the next person in line, and thus asked for more time to prepare to return and provide evidence,” the DPP, through assistant prosecutor Alexander Muteti said.

Muteti also clarified that investigations into claims of witness interference are ongoing

“The ODPP further inquired from the investigators about any active investigations into witness interference and were properly informed that inquiry file number 300/2022 is open and investigations ongoing.”

Yesterday, a court sitting in Nairobi adjourned the hearing of the Arror and Kimwarer dams case after it emerged that the witness said he was not ready to testify against former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and his eight co-accused.

“What we anticipated to be a smooth trial has turned to be a nightmare. It is a shock on us, especially on the security of witnesses where a pattern is emerging which is not only shocking but can disturb the mind of any reasonable prosecutor,” Muteti said on Thursday.

Muteti told the court that prosecuting Rotich and the other seven suspects was becoming difficult not because of the case's complexity, but because of tampering with witnesses.

Former CS Rotich and former Kerio Valley Development Authority Managing Director David Kimosop are facing conspiracy charges to defraud Sh63 billion for the construction of the two dams. Also in the dock are former Chief Economist Kennedy Nyakundi, and former National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Managing Director Geoffrey Wahungu.

Others are Jackson Kinyanjui, William Kipkemboi, Paul Kipkoech, Francis Chepkonga, and Titus Muriithi. They are facing a total of 30 counts in which the prosecution claim they conspired to defraud the government by entering into a contract for the construction of the Arror and Kimwarer multi-purpose dams without approval.

The hearing of the case will resume on November 18, and December 15, 2022.