Why Court Has Ordered Ex-Treasury CS Charged Afresh

  • An image of Henry Rotich
    Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich speaking at a past event.
    Citizen Digital
  • Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich and eight others, are set to face new charges following a court ruling. 

    In the ruling made on Friday, October 29, the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate, Lawrence Mugambi, ordered that Rotich and the co-accused be charged afresh with conspiracy to defraud the government of Ksh63 billion in the Kimwarer and Arror Dams saga.

    Justice Mugambi ruled that there was no illegality committed by the prosecution stating that the law allows it to amend a charge sheet at any stage of the prosecution.

    Former PS Susan Koech (left), former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (centre) and former Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge at the Milimani anti-corruption court on January 12, 2021.
    Former PS Susan Koech (left), former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (centre) and former Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge at the Milimani anti-corruption court on January 12, 2021.
    The Standard

    “There is no illegality with the prosecution’s application to amend the charge sheet, which is informed by the decision to drop some accused persons in the case. The law allows the prosecution to amend the charge sheet at any stage of the trial before they conclude their case,” read the ruling.

    Rotich, Kimosop, and seven others are now excepted to face 30 new charges following the court ruling allowing the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to amend the charges against them. Mugambi directed the accused persons will take a plea to the charges on Monday, November 1, 2021.

    The former CS had initially been charged alongside 18 persons in different files but the DPP has dropped the charges against nine accused persons who will now be state witnesses in the matter.

    Through senior counsels, Kioko Kilukumi and Katwa Kigen, Rotich and Komosop opposed the request to have the case had together on grounds the two cases were different.

    This comes after Rotich had opposed the new charges which sought to consolidate his case with that of former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) boss, David Kimosop. 

    In the application, the DPP's prosecutor Taib Ali Taib and its Deputy Director Alexander Muteti argued that the amendment and consolidation of the cases wail save precious judicial time and scarce resources.

    The prosecution further said that consolidation of the two files will also reduce the number of witnesses from 104 to 52 in the case that has since elicited great public interest.    

    In the new charge sheet by the DPP, the new nine accused persons are Rotich, Kennedy Nyakundi Nyachiro, Jackson Njau Kinyanjui, David Kipchumba Kimosop, William Kipkemboi Maina, Paul Kipkoech Serem, Francis Chepkonga Kipkech, Titus Muriithi, and Geoffrey Mwangi Wahungu.

    The nine are accused of conspiracy to defraud the government of Kenya USD501,829,769 by unlawfully initiating an entering into contraction, financing, and insurance agreement for the development of Arror and Kimwarer Multi-purpose dams.

    They face 29 new charges of engaging in a project without prior planning, willful failure to comply with procurement laws, abuse of office, and committing an offense of financial misconduct.

    Undated image of Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in court.
    Undated image of Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in court.
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