Billions were paid to an Italian firm for work that never got done on the Arror and Kimwarer dams project, and now Deputy President William Ruto promises to get it moving as soon as he is elected president.
Political conmanship has been blamed for the stalled development projects in Elgeyo-Marakwet county by Kenya Kwanza Alliance front-runner, who said his administration would return to the project on August 9th.
“The people of Elgeyo Marakwet owe us water. Thugs and political con-men thwarted our plans to build the Arror and Kimwarer dams, which we had promised to do with my friend Uhuru Kenyatta, DP Ruto said to the crowd.
On August 10, “God willing,” that project will be restarted because you have a fundamental right to clean water. In our opinion, what happened was a form of fraud that we do not tolerate. This year, when we form the next government, we will begin that process,” he added.
According to investigations, the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects were overpriced and technically and financially unviable, and as a result, President Uhuru Kenyatta canceled them in September 2019.
There are several counts of corruption, including conspiracy to defraud and abuse of office, against the former Treasury CS Henry Roich and his PS Kamau Thugge in the multi-billion shilling dam fraud case.
Although the ODPP had initially charged 24 people in connection with the scandal, it has now dropped those charges against 15, including PS Thugge and his former East Africa Community counterpart Susan Jemutai Koech, after they agreed to cooperate as prosecution witnesses..
He and his allies have repeatedly denied the accusations against him in relation to the project.
Raila Odinga, the leader of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition, has long accused the DP and his allies of putting a stop to the project’s construction after the scandal broke.
As of February 2019, Ruto had denied claims that Ksh.21 billion had been lost in the scandal, saying that only Ksh.7 billion was at issue.
There is no evidence linking Deputy President William Ruto to the Arror and Kimwarer case, according to Director of Public Prosecutions Noorul Haji.
Although the Kimwarer case file from investigative agencies does not include DP Ruto’s name, Haji noted that the ODPP is pursuing the case to see it through to a resolution.