Dec, 2nd 2020 – Former Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich now claims that he was unlawfully charged over the multibillion Aror and Kimwarer dams projects and now wants the fraud charges quashed.
He claims that the prosecution disclosed documents that demonstrate there was prior planning including a cabinet directive dated 21 August 2009 for implementation of Arror Dam.
Rotich was last year charged in court with abuse of office and engaging in a project without planning, failure to comply with guidelines and procedures relating to procurement and financial misconduct. He is facing trial alongside Former PS Kamau Thugge and others.
He says that the alleged procurement violations he has been accused of can only be committed by the accounting officer or employees in the procuring entity-the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA).
He said, “I am not the accounting officer or employee of the procuring entity (KVDA) or the parent ministry and furthermore, the Ministry of Environment, in a letter dated March 2016 stated that the board of directors of KVDA approved development of the two dams.“
According to Rotich, It is the duty of the ministry and KVDA to ensure that procurement procedures are adhered to, including project planning. He adds that he was authorized to sign all financing agreements on behalf of the government which was done after legal clearance by the Attorney General.
In court papers filed before the High Court, he says that he is currently jobless and that no one wants to meet him for a consultancy. In an affidavit, he says that, “This selective approach to the law applicable and expert advice is indicative of objectivity, unreasonableness and illegality”
He also adds in court papers that, “It’s absurd that the DPP and EACC chose to charge me while the AG is not charged in this respect. This is an indication of selective prosecution that cannot stand the test of objectivity.”
He feels that the charges against him should be done away with as it was the opinion of former Auditor General Edward Ouko that the loan borrowed met government to government criteria. He says that the DPP and the EACC misunderstood the nature of the commercial contract agreements between the contractor and the KVDA.
He said, “The DPP’s failure to apply the applicable law to Engineering Procurement Construction and Financing mode of agreement has given rise to the impugned charges.”