DPP orders 13 arrested over Anglo Leasing

Monday March 2 2015

Former Finance minister David Mwiraria is among former high ranking government officials questioned by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday in connection with the Anglo Leasing scandal. FILE PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Finance minister David Mwiraria is among former high ranking government officials questioned by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday in connection with the Anglo Leasing scandal. FILE PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ISAAC ONGIRI
More by this Author
By SAMWEL BORN MAINA
More by this Author

Former Finance minister David Mwiraria is among former high ranking government officials questioned by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday in connection with the Anglo Leasing scandal.

Officials at EACC said they expect to charge Mr Mwiraria on Wednesday in connection with security contracts entered into by the government 10 years ago.

Also likely to be questioned, according to the officials, was Mr Dave Mwangi, a former Internal Security permanent secretary.

Mr David Onyonka, a former head of debt management at the Treasury, was also questioned.

On Monday, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko said he had given consent for the prosecution of 13 individuals in connection with the Anglo Leasing scandal as Transparency International welcomed the order.

Kisii Senator Chris Obure, who served under President Daniel arap Moi as Finance minister, and a former Postmaster General Francis Chahonyo, are also likely to be questioned.

Neither Mr Tobiko nor EACC would reveal the names of those facing charges. The anti-corruption authority has a history of promising prosecutions, which are subsequently delayed or shelved altogether.

ARREST WARRANTS

Anti-corruption officials told the Nation they would seek Interpol warrants of arrest against foreigners in the list, who are currently out of the country.

Yesterday, the DPP’s office said Cabinet ministers and top public officials in the Kibaki administration, businessmen and three companies should be arrested and charged in court before the end of this week in connection with the scandal that cost tax payers Sh7 billion.

In 2006, the current President, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, was the leader of the Official Opposition and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee that was involved in investigating the scandal and recommended that the Finance Minister, Mr David Mwiraria, take responsibility for the scandal.

The Sh7 billion was to have paid for a forensic laboratory for the CID, an ocean vessel to boost security in Kenyan waters and better communication equipment for the police, among other 18 projects.

Although some of the payments were made under President Moi’s administration, the payments continued after Narc took over power in 2003.

The scandal broke out in 2004 when Mr Mwiraria was the minister for Finance. Other public officials who were adversely mentioned were the permanent secretary for Finance, Mr David Magari and Dr Chris Murungaru.

MURUNGI RESIGNATION

Mr Kiraitu Murungi, who was then the minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, stepped down after he was adversely mentioned in connection with the scandal but was re-appointed to the Cabinet after he was cleared of wrongdoing.

He famously said that Anglo-Leasing was “a scandal that never was” because, according to government officials at the time, the money that had been sent to shadowy businessmen to pay for the equipment was sent back to the Treasury.

Other former ministers whose dockets handled some of the 18 projects were Mr Musalia Mudavadi and Dr Obure.

Other key individuals previously mentioned in connection with the scandal are businessmen Deepak Kamani, Annure Pereira, Amin Juma, Merlyn Kettering and Ludmilla Katuschenko.

On Monday, Mr Tobiko said: “Having perused the three “Anglo Leasing type” security contracts investigations files submitted by the EACC on 27th February, 2015, and being satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to sustain all the charges recommended by the EACC, I have today directed all the 13 individuals and three corporate entities... to be arrested.... and taken to court forthwith to face various criminal charges.”

He recommended seven charges against the 13 individuals and three companies that were linked to dubious procurement deals.