Kenya’s finance minister denies fraud charges in dam project

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s finance minister is denying fraud-related charges over contracts for the construction of two dams in the country’s west. This is the first time a Kenyan finance minister has been charged while in office.

Henry Rotich and 14 other officials appeared in court on Tuesday. They were arrested on Monday for their alleged roles in awarding contracts and payments to the Italian firm CMC di Ravenna. The company denies wrongdoing.

The charges allege that the officials conspired to defraud Kenya’s government in the building of Kimwarer and Arror dams in Elgeyo Marakwet county, where no construction work has started despite billions of shillings already spent.

The prosecution has asked for stringent bail terms.

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Corruption permeates all levels of Kenyan society and President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised to tackle it.

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