Broke Italian Firm Vanishes With Ksh15 Billion Down Payment As Projects Stall

Itare Dam
Itare dam, which was under construction by the company. [IMAGE/ COURTESY]

Co-operativa Muratoi Cementisti Di Ravenna (CMC Ravenna), an Italian firm accused of bribing three cabinet secretaries has left three mega project sites after pocketing a whooping Sh15 deposit.

The company, which has been declared bankrupt at home in Italy, is said to have abandoned the hydro-power and drinking water projects in Nakuru and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.

The Standard reported that only Itare Dam in Kuresoi, Nakuru has seen some progress on the contract signed.

Further, the daily reported that part of the deposits were paid as kickbacks to the CSs under probe.

To put the Ksh15 billion into context, the company – known for asking advance payment – is said to have received Ksh4.9 billion for two projects that are yet to see the light of day.

It had also pocketed Ksh10 billion for Itare dam, totaling to a total of Ksh14.9 billion.

The revelation came a week after CMC Ravenna was kicked out of two other projects it had been contracted to undertake in Nepal last year.

Part of company officials are now reported to have traveled out of country to address a financial crisis facing the company with little information on when they are set to be back.

Reports reveal that only front office staff have been retained at the firm’s Nairobi offices while the other three site offices remain abandoned.

With the company facing financial constraints and having pocketed a good share of the monies set aside for the projects, It’s reported that there is a possibility that the projects could be re-awarded, thus, forcing the tax payers to dig deep into their pockets.

At least three Cabinet secretaries are under investigation for receiving kickbacks from contractors engaged in mega projects in the country.

CS Rotich is among state officials who have been questioned in relations to the Ksh15 billion which forms part of the Ksh65 billion stalled dam projects.

Read: MPs Ask President Uhuru To Sack CS Rotich Over ‘Poor Monetary Policies’

He has since reported a statement at the Director of Criminal Investigations over the Arror multi-purpose dam and Kimwarer in Keiyo south constituency.

According to a source who intimated to the Standard more payments had been made to the Italian contractor than the work done.

Further, the source revealed that CMC Di Ravenna has pocketed over one-third of the funds borrowed from Belgium-based BNP Paribas Fortis for less than 17 percent of work completed.

The stalled projects have put the government on the spot once, with some parties coming out to question whether the taxpayer will get value for the money borrowed by the National Treasury three years ago.

The debt was intended to supply over 800,000 people in Nakuru Municipality, Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro and Rongai.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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