Politician Raila Odinga hit out at those who plundered at least Sh21 billion meant for Arror and Kimwarer dams in a tour of Deputy President William Ruto’s North Rift backyard on Sunday.
The Orange Democratic Movement leader dismissed Dr Ruto’s claim that only Sh7 million meant for the projects in Elgeyo Marakwet County was lost.
Mr Odinga said plans for the two mega dams were initiated under the Grand Coalition Government led by former President Mwai Kibaki.
He said Sh5 billion was allocated to the projects following a feasibility study.
“It has now been allocated Sh63 billion and Sh21 billion has been lost yet no work has been done,” he told a gathering at Chebara Primary School during a thanksgiving ceremony following the retirement of Ruth Kiptoo, mother in-law of Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny.
The two multi-purpose dams would have cost a total of Sh63 billion. According to the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), Arror in Marakwet East was to cost Sh38.5 billion and Kimwarer in Keiyo South Sh28 billion.
Italian firm CMC di Ravenna, which won tenders to build mega dams in the Rift Valley worth more than Sh90 billion, is being investigated for allegedly bribing senior government officials to secure the contracts.
In line with the allegations of graft in the failure of the projects, Mr Odinga highlighted corruption, saying a report by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which showed Sh800 billion is lost annually due to corruption, was bad news for the economy.
The ambitious project was meant to serve more than 50,000 people living in the vast county by producing electricity and water for irrigation.
Sunday’s tour of the North Rift was Mr Odinga’s first since his March 9, 2018 handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta, following an agreement for unity, peace, national healing and reconciliation and nationwide development.
Mr Odinga promised to follow up on complaints from the area’s leaders and residents that institutions displaced to pave way for the construction of Chebara dam over 20 years ago are yet to be compensated.
He spoke of ‘Canaan’, his code word for the fulfilling future he has promised Kenyans, telling off those claiming the plan by the National Supper Alliance (NASA) has flopped.
“Canaan is for Kenyans to enjoy peace and have ‘justice within our borders’ as our national anthem spells out. That’s why I teamed up with President Kenyatta to unite the country,” he said.
Mr Odinga also criticised leaders in the Tangatanga faction, who are allied to the DP, saying they have started campaigning for the 2022 general election at the expense of development.
The post On North Rift tour, Raila hits out at Arror, Kimwarer project thieves' appeared first on Kenya News Alerts.