How the high and mighty rob the nation

Women in support of Meru Governor Peter Munya march in Meru on March 31, 2015. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL |

What you need to know:

  • Uhuru dossier tabled in Parliament proves what long-suffering Kenyans have always suspected.
  • Report lays bare multi-billion-shilling scams, down to petty offences like fuelling private cars with public funds.

President Kenyatta’s corruption dossier, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, confirmed what Kenyans have always feared: the country is being robbed blind by those in charge of public money.

The poster boy of corruption allegations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli, accused of procuring the standard gauge railway, Jubilee’s signature project, whose cost is Sh320 billion.

The EACC dossier lays bare corruption in Kenya, from the grand multi-billion-shilling scams, to the petty, such as the fuelling of private vehicles with public money.

Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries, governors, top government officials and heads of parastatals are accused of lining their pockets with billions of shillings as millions of Kenyans struggle to afford a meal a day.

And it demonstrates how top government officials are suspected to have colluded with senior civil servants, politicians of questionable reputation, business people and brokers, to carry out mega scams.

IRREGULAR TENDERING

Mr Muli, Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia, Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, Energy CS David Chirchir, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko Mbuvi, Land CS Charity Ngilu, Labour CS Kazungu Kambi and the Director of Procurement at the National Treasury emerged the big players in the report, which has seen some of them step aside to pave way for investigations.

The railway tender was awarded to China Road and Bridge Construction Ltd amid protests by civil society that the cost was inflated.

EACC claims that it suspects Mr Muli of “Irregular award of tender for construction of Standard Gauge Railway to China and Bridges by Kenya Railway Corporation involving Sh320 billion”.

He is also alleged to have irregularly facilitated the disposal of Kenya Railway properties in Nairobi and other major towns.

“Another allegation is that he is still influencing procurement processes at the Kenya Railways and other state corporations under his ministry,” claims the dossier.

Mr Kamau is alleged to be involved in manipulation of road tenders, and conflict of interest in a consultancy firm, Apec.

“This company is alleged to have inflated the SGR project consultancy fee in the project involving billions of Kenya shillings,” it says.

Secondly, he is accused of illegally contracting Land Mark Clearing and Forwarding Ltd to handle 80 per cent of cargo belonging to China Road and Bridge Construction Ltd, which is building the Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba railway line for 14 years.

Dr Kidero is being investigated for irregularities in the signing of a deal with Chinese truck maker, Foton East Africa, to supply Metro Transportation System fleet worth Sh4.6 billion.

“It is alleged that the governor has signed a deal worth Sh4.6 billion in a plan to launch the Metro Transportation system and the process is suspected to have been flawed,” says the dossier.

Mr Kimemia, Kenya’s ambassador to Tanzania Chirau Ali Mwakwere and Investments Secretary Esther Koimett are alleged to have used their powers to deny former Kenya Railways staff a chance to buy houses under the tenant purchase scheme.

Seven per cent of the houses whose value was estimated to be Sh5 billion, which were described as non-strategic, were supposed to have been sold to the occupants at the time.

Mr Kimemia is also alleged to have been involved in the irregular award of a Sh1 billion tender in the ministry of Interior.

BILLION-SHILLING KICKBACK

Outspoken Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto is alleged to have suddenly accumulated “immense” wealth, which includes 40 earth movers, tippers and graders at an estimated cost of Sh400 million and buying a helicopter worth Sh300 million.

“He bought a palatial house in Ngong worth Sh33 million,” claims the dossier, adding that he operates a chain of petrol stations.

Mr Chirchir is accused interfering in a Kenya Pipeline Company tender worth Sh46.14 billion ($500 million) in which he ensured it was awarded to Sinopec Ltd (China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation) instead of Zakhem International Construction Ltd.

From the proceeds, it is claimed, Mr Chirchir and Mr Sonko were to share Sh1.38 billion ($15 million). “The tender was meant to corruptly yield US$15 million (Sh1.38 billion), which was to be shared between Davis Chirchir and Senator Mike Mbuvi,” states the report.

Mr Kambi, the report alleges, is involved in corrupt deals at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) through his strong support for the Tassia II project whose cost was inflated from Sh3.3 billion to Sh5.05 billion without the approval of the Board of Trustees.

“The controversy of the Tassia Phase II upgrade involves Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi, NSSF senior management and the property development manager,” it states.

Mrs Ngilu is alleged to belong to what can only be described as a group of land sharks made up of senior ministry officials, politicians and brokers, to irregularly acquire and dispose of land in various parts of the country.

It names them as Patrick Osero (Agricultural Finance Corporation chairman) and Deepak Kamani, lawyer James Mbaluka, Chief Lands Registrar Sarah Mwenda and Mr Sonko.

The parcels of land under investigations include those in Karen, Nairobi, Ruai, beach plots, Kenya Meat Commission land at the Coast and the 930-acre Waitiki farm in Likoni, Mombasa.

Mrs Ngilu is alleged to have colluded with Mr Evanson Waitiki, who owns the controversial Likoni land, to inflate the price of the land, which was to be bought by the government for squatters, by Sh110 million.

Mrs Ngilu’s “cut” in the deal is alleged to have been Sh65 million.

“From the aforementioned figure, Mrs Ngilu allegedly is going to get a kickback of Sh65 million once the land is bought by the government for settling squatters currently occupying it. The remaining Sh45 million is allegedly going to be shared by other interested parties in the transaction,” the report states.

The Lands CS, working alongside Ms Mwenda, and other ministry officials, is alleged to be seeking to take over a parcel of land owned by Myta Ltd on State House Crescent Road in Nairobi.

In the Office of Deputy President William Ruto, Chief of Staff Marianne Kittany is accused of abuse of office and embezzlement of Sh100 million.

“There are allegations that Kittany diverted Sh100 million to mobilise MPs in the abortive campaign in July 2014 to impeach powerful Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru,” says the dossier.

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