Kenyan finance minister arrested in corruption case

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 19:13:39-04

Kenya’s finance minister has turned himself over to authorities to face corruption charges, just months after taking out a newspaper ad to defend himself.

Henry Rotich is currently in police custody after being arrested for corruption and financial misconduct on Monday, according to the country’s Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. He’s due to appear in court on Tuesday.

The charges against Rotich relate to a project to build two hydro-electric dams in the country. In a statement, the Public Prosecutions office said an investigation showed “the conception, procurement and payment process for the Arror and Kimwarer Dam projects in Elgeyo Marakwet County were riddled with massive illegalities.”

Rotich denied any wrongdoing related to the projects in a newspaper ad in March.

In addition to Rotich, Kenya’s prosecutors plan to charge 27 other people with a range of offenses, including violating anti-corruption laws.

The contract to build the dams was awarded to an Italian company, CMC di Ravenna, for $456 million, according to Haji’s office. The prosecutor allege that a number of financial crimes were committed to inflate the final cost. The dams themselves have not yet been built.

When contacted by CNN, CMC di Ravenna said in a statement it “is sure of the correctness of the actions of the company and its workers, in Italy and abroad.”