Ouko in the dark over Kimwarer, Arror dam deals

Friday March 8 2019

Auditor-General Edward Ouko

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAMWEL OWINO
By SAMWEL OWINO
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The Auditor-General is yet to conclude the audit on the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), which is at the centre of corruption allegations related to the controversial Kimwarer and Arror dam projects.

An official at the Auditor-General’s office, Evans Kaleka, Thursday told a parliamentary committee that they still do not have the details of possible loss on the Sh21 billion projects in Elgeyo-Marakwet.

The official, who is in charge of the North Rift, told the Public Investment Committee that the Auditor General’s office has sent a management letter to the KVDA over two dams but they yet to get a reply.

A management letter is a document sent to an organisation being audited in order to give it an opportunity to respond to queries raised from the initial look into the books of accounts.

The KVDA contracted an Italian firm to undertake the projects, which have imploded into a scandal. Detectives say billions had been paid for no work done.

PAYMENTS

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich has been questioned on multiple days over the advance payments for two dam projects.

The minister said the payments had been made in accordance with the law.

“KVDA was not part of the agreement. The agreement was signed between the Italian companies and the Treasury. The KVDA is the implementing agency,” revealed Kaleka.

He told the Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir-chaired committee that the concept for the construction of the dams was put in place 33 years ago, but suspiciously remained undeveloped.

CONTRACT

Mr Kaleka said it was only on April 5, 2017, that the contract for the construction was signed between the Italian companies, CMC Di Ravenna and Itenera, and Treasury for the construction of the dam.

He said current the issue of the dams could not have been captured in their previous KVDA audit reports since the public auditor is yet to conclude the 2017/18 audits that will reflect the contracts signed in 2017.

Mr Kaleka told the committee that the construction of the two dams was conceptualised in 1986 but they did not take off until in 2017 the government made allocated funds and contracted Italian companies for their construction.