PD Reporter @PeopleDailyKe
Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich has lately cut an image of a lonely man resigned to fate, sources close to him confided yesterday.
“He had foreseen his arrest, prosecution and sacking from the Cabinet almost three months ago,” the source, who cannot be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said.
Rotich is reported to have told people close to him that senior officials in government had stopped picking his calls some time back.
The CS is also reported to have confided in his friends that he felt the government had “thrown him under the bus”.
“He must have been aware that something bad was coming up because he told us that his seniors had stopped responding to his text messages after the saga of the dams broke out,” said the official.
According to the source, Rotich said he felt frustrated and betrayed. “We could tell that he was a disturbed man when he told us that in the past his messages were promptly responded to. It was like he was telling us that he had been left on his own,” said the source.
The minister’s fortunes started changing for the worse early this year when he was summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI)headquarters for questioning over the dams scandal. He was apparently made to respond to more than 300 questions prepared by detectives.
The CS was first questioned by police on February 18. He was later to make four more visits to the DCI as investigations progressed.
Rotich was said to have developed a close working relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta after working together at Treasury when the latter was Finance minister during President Mwai Kibaki’s reign. But this relationship seems to have evaporated when Treasury was sucked into the dams scandal. Since then, the President has vowed that top officials caught in corruption will carry their own cross.
Rotich’s arrest yesterday came shortly after the DCI director George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji returned from their two-week visit to Italy as part of investigations into the dams scandal.
The two had left the country on July 9 to Italy where they were to meet government officials and the Italian government-owned insurer, Service Assicurnativi Dei Commercio Estero (SACE), which was paid Sh11.1 billion as insurance premium for a loan to build the two dams.
“The investigations established that government officials flouted all procurement rules and abused their oath of office to ensure the scheme went through,” said Haji during a press briefing yesterday.
He said they established government officials went ahead to award the contracts to CMC Di Ravenna of Italy to run concurrently while aware that the firm was, at the time of award, straining and getting into voluntary liquidation back in Italy.
When he was made to record a statement, Rotich was also asked about the missing National Environment Management Authority reports and lack of public participation in the projects.
According to records, a leading supermarket was paid Sh4 million for supplying pillows and bedsheets while a food and wine company based in Nairobi’s Lavington was paid Sh15 million for supplying food and wines to CMC.
Car hire services cost Sh7 million while Sh18 million was used for aerial survey services and another company supplied foodstuff worth Sh10.2 million.
A company was paid Sh6 million to supply generators while another one was paid Sh19 million for physical studies; another was paid Sh13 million for provision of air tickets and another Sh6 million for generators.