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Kenya's finance minister Henry Rotich to be arrested, charged over graft

Kenya's finance minister Henry Rotich to be arrested, charged over graft
July 22, 2019

NAIROBI  (Web Desk) - Kenya's chief prosecutor has ordered the arrest of the finance minister over allegations of corruption related to the construction of two dams.

Henry Rotich is accused of flouting procurement procedures in awarding a contract worth over $450m (£405m) for the dam projects 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. Rotich and his co-accused face eight charges, ranging from conspiring to defraud and financial misconduct, said Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions. The minister and other officials will immediately have to resign and will be arrested and taken to court, he said. Kenyan prosecutors have requested help from British and Italian authorities, he said, and more charges could result. The minister will be charged alongside 27 other senior officials, 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. The two dams were budgeted to cost 46 billion shillings ($446 million), he said, but the treasury borrowed far more. “The national treasury negotiated a commercial facility increasing the amount to approximately 63 billion shillings - which is 17 billion more than necessary or required, payable on a timely basis without regard to a performance or works,” he said. SOURCE: BBC NEWS AND REUTERS