Before his political fortunes nosedived, former Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau was the darling of the system – or so he thought.
By being the face behind President Mwai Kibaki’s success in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure – first as Roads engineer and later as a permanent secretary – Mr Kamau was one of those picked as Cabinet Secretary by President Uhuru Kenyatta to drive the Jubilee agenda in infrastructural development, which included the building of the standard gauge railway.
But Tuesday, and slightly before dawn, detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) returned to his upmarket Windy Ridge home, in Nairobi’s Karen, where properties cost upwards of Sh100 million, looking for him.
He was not in – and the detectives left after jumping over the iron-framed wooden gate. Hours later, the EACC officials handed over an investigation file to the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Noordin Haji, who allowed the criminal prosecution of Mr Kamau over a Sh33 million tender awarded to Kundan Singh Construction.
Mr Kamau, 59, had been arrested over the same case before – and fought hard to forestall prosecution.
During his mother’s burial in Naromoru, Mr Kamau had made a plea to both President Kenyatta and former President Kibaki.
“I am not a thief and God knows that Michael Kamau is not a thief,” he said then. “I am not saying this to draw pity. I know why I’m being crucified. I know those who come to my office and say ‘if you don’t do this you will be prosecuted...’”
While the same case had in March 2015 forced him to step aside as Cabinet Secretary to allow for investigations, the University of New Castle upon Tyne graduate engineer will have to put his best effort to win the case.