The scandal-plagued Arror and Kimwarer dams project, in which billions were paid to an Italian company for work that was never completed, will get started as soon as William Ruto is elected president, according to his campaign promises.
The Kenya Kwanza Alliance front-runner blamed the halted projects on what he called political conmanship while campaigning in Elgeyo-Marakwet county on Monday. He said that his administration would return to the project the day after the August 9 election.
“We owe you water, the people of Elgeyo Marakwet. We stood on this very ground with my friend Uhuru Kenyatta and promised that we would build the Arror and Kimwarer dams but unfortunately, thugs and political con-men stopped that plan,” DP Ruto told the crowd.
“God willing, on August 10, that project is going to resume because you have a right to access clean water… What happened was conmanship which we don’t accept. We are embarking on that this year when we form the next government,” he added.
After examinations revealed that the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects were costly and neither technically nor financially feasible, President Uhuru Kenyatta canceled them in September 2019.
Former Treasury CS Henry Roich, his PS Kamau Thugge, and four other people are accused of various charges of corruption, including conspiracy to defraud and abuse of power, in the multi-billion shilling dam fraud case, which cost Ksh. 63 billion in 2019.
Initially charging 24 people in connection with the scandal, the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) later dropped the charges against 15, including PS Thugge and his former East Africa Community counterpart Susan Jemutai Koech after they consented to testify for the prosecution.
DP Ruto and his associates have publicly refuted the allegations made against him over the project on various times.
One of those who has consistently accused the DP and his associates of stopping the project’s construction after the controversy is Raila Odinga, the leader of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya alliance.
In February 2019, Ruto refuted reports that the incident resulted in the loss of Ksh. 21 billion, asserting that just Ksh. 7 billion was in doubt.
Last Monday, Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions, stated that there is no proof connecting DP Ruto to the Arror and Kimwarer case.
Although DP Ruto’s name is not included in the Kimwarer case file from law enforcement authorities, Haji emphasized that the ODPP is still pursuing the case to see how it turns out.
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