CS Simon Chelugui quizzed over Ksh 19 billion Stalled Itare dam cash

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,4TH DEC 2019-Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui spent the better part of  Wednesday December 4 at the offices of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) being grilled about stalled Itare Dam.

Itare dam was meant to benefit at least 800,000 people in Nakuru, Kuresoi, Molo and Rongai and cost taxpayers at least Ksh19 billion, but has since stalled.

It is reported that billions have been lost in the project in flawed procurement process, litigation and compensation.

Already, at least Ksh11.5 billion has been spent on the stalled project, but there is little to show for the money.

In case the DCI prefers charges against Chelugui, he might be suspended by the President just like it happened to former Treasury CS Henry Rotich over Arror and Kimwarer dam where 26 people were charged.

The current contractor, CMC di Ravena, has filed for bankruptcy, even as Chelugui contemplates sub-contracting to a third party to finish the work.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and DCI George Kinoti have already toured the place, and according to them, only 10 per cent of the work had been done. Sleuths have confiscated up to 70 cars seconded to the company, even as the probe intensifies.

Construction of the 57-metre-high dam with 28 million-cubic-metre storage started on April 6, 2017.

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