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Italian Firm Accused Of Bribing Cabinet Secretaries Denies Bankruptcy Reports

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 denied claims that it is broke.

In a statement on Monday, the company contracted by the national government to construct the multibillion Itare Dam in Nakuru County said that neither itself nor its subsidiaries have been declared bankrupt or insolvent.

“CMC has voluntarily engaged in a composition with creditors procedure to ensure it safeguards the interests of all stakeholders (creditors, investors, clients and co-operative employees),” the statement read in part.

On reports that it had left the project, the company said it’s committed to the contract it signed.

“CMC di Ravenna continues to be fully committed to completing the dam project ahead of or within the contracted time frame.”

CMC Ravenna attributed the slow progress of the project to delays in receipt of payments.

Further, the firm noted that 30 percent of the work that began in 2017 had been completed, adding that following its suspension, it will resume work in March.

Last week, a section of the media reported that 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 local daily also noted that only Itare Dam in Kuresoi, Nakuru has seen some progress on the contract signed by the firm.

The company is said to have vanished with over Ksh15 billion which were paid as deposits.

Part of the deposits, are said to have been pocketed by some cabinet secretaries as kickbacks.

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

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

CS Rotich is among state officials who have been questioned in relations to the Ksh15 billion which forms part of the Ksh91 billion stalled dam projects.

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

It is alleged that more payments had been made to the Italian contractor than the work done.

It is reported 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 again, 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 water to over 800,000 people in Nakuru Municipality, Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro and Rongai.

Besides Itare dam, CMC Ravenna is also reported to have won tenders to construct Radat Dam in Marigat, Baringo County, at a cost of Sh20 billion, and Kithinu dam in Nkubu, Meru County, at a cost of Sh26 billion.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

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