By Our Reporter
Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich was arrested on Monday on suspicion of financial misconduct related to the construction of two dams, an unprecedented detention of a sitting minister for corruption in a country notorious for graft.
Charges against Rotich, announced on Monday, stem from a police investigation into the misuse of funds in a dam project overseen by the Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna. Rotich denied any wrongdoing in a large newspaper advertisement in March. The company has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Henry Rotich is accused of flouting procurement procedures in awarding a contract worth over $450m for the construction of two dams to the Italian company CMC de Ravenna. In March Mr Rotich denied any wrongdoing in a large newspaper advert. The company has also denied the accusations.
According to Reuters, Rotich and his co-accused face eight charges, ranging from conspiring to defraud and financial misconduct, Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions, said. The minister and other officials will have to resign immediately, he said.
The minister will be charged along with 27 other people, including Italian Paolo Porcelli, the director of CMC di Ravenna; and Rotich’s number two at the ministry, Kamau Thugge, the principal secretary.
“They broke the law on public finance management under the guise of carrying out legitimate commercial transactions, colossal amounts were unjustifiably and illegally paid out through a well choreographed scheme by government officers in collusion with private individuals and institutions,” Haji told a news conference.