Warrants of arrest have been issued against 19 Italians over the infamous Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.
Anti-Corruption Magistrate Douglas Ogoti okayed the move following an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after the Italians failed to turn up in court to plead to corruption charges.
On the other hand, the High Court has stopped graft trial of former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich following an application filed by Richard Malebe, one of the suspects.
The suspension was done alongside 28 others who are charged with corruption related charges.
The 19 Italians are among the accused in the scandal where Ksh21 billion was lost during the tenure of Rotich and former PS Kamau Thuge. They (Italians) did not appear in court, nor did they send and advocate.
The prosecution has requested 30 days to report back on the warrants of arrest.
Others facing arrest include 16 directors of CMC Di Ravenna Italy and CMC Di Ravenna Kenya branch, the companies that were awarded the tender for construction of the two dams.
The scandal saw Mr Rotich, Dr Thugge, Mr Koech, Mr Kimosop, Mr Nyachiro and Mr Kinyanjui charged with willful failure to comply with applicable law relating to procurement.
The case will be mentioned on March 26, 2020.
In September last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered immediate cancellation of the Kimwarer Dam Project.
The President gave the directive after the multibillion project was found to be technically and financially not feasible by the project Technical Committee.
The President, however, directed the immediate commencement of the implementation of the Arror Multipurpose Dam project.
The three-member committee chaired by Principal Secretary for Infrastructure Prof Paul Maringa found out that no current reliable feasibility study had been conducted on the Kimwarer dam project. Other members in the committee are Quantity Surveyor Julius Matu, Eng Benjamin Mwangi and Eng John Muiruri.
“The only feasibility study carried out on a similar project twenty-eight (28) years ago had revealed a geological fault across the 800-acre project area, which would have negative structural effects on the proposed dam, ” the statement reads in part.
The committee also established that the project area is settled and would require compensation of displaced residents.
Maringa’s committee, further, stated that the project’s water supply system would require a pumping system which they found out to be unsustainable in terms of operations and maintenance costs.
“Therefore, the Technical Committee recommended to the President that the Kimwarer Dam project be discontinued, ” said Ms Dena.
On the other hand, after a thorough review of the Arror dam project, the committee found it to be economically viable.
However, it noted that it was overpriced and recommended that it’s cost be rationalized.
“As part of the cost rationalization plan, the Technical Committee has prepared a new Bills of Quantities (BQ) for a modified dam with its height scaled down to 60 metres from the original design height of 96 metres which was found to be unviable, ” the statement reads.
With the new design components and cost rationalization plan approved by the president, the Arror dam project will require about 250 acres of land and cost Ksh15.4 billion with power and Ksh13.1 billion without power.
The dam was previously estimated to cost Ksh28.3 billion.
The president formed the committee following the discovery of irregularities and improprieties surrounding the two infrastructure projects.