15 ways to steal money from public infrastructure contracts in Kenya

A flat river passes in front of a distant range of hills on a cloudy day
The Kerio River, via Wikipedia

There’s recently been a spate of good investigative journalism about the Kimwarer and Arror dams scandals in Kenya.  These two dams were supposed to be built in the Kerio Valley in the west of the country, but after four years and nearly Ksh 20 billion / US$200 million spent, no progress has been made on either of them.  The resulting scandal has already taken down the top two officials at the Treasury.

At the Daily Nation, Nyambega Gisesa has a great listicle covering the top 15 tactics that officials and contractors used to fraudulently spend the project money.  (And no, none of them will surprise you.)  Click through to read the whole thing.


  • The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) approved an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which gave the nod for the projects yet there is no evidence that it was ever carried out. The environmental agency also ignored protests from other state agencies not to approve the projects.


  • Sh643 million was released by the National Treasury for the compensation and resettlement of people who would be affected by the said projects, yet there is no evidence that land has been acquired


  • Officials went ahead to award the contracts to CMC di Ravenna despite being aware that the firm was getting into voluntary liquidation back in Italy.


  • CMC di Ravenna was awarded the contract despite being awarded three other mega projects that were either incomplete or yet to commence.


  • Sh11 billion for insurance was paid upfront yet a government guarantee would have sufficed at no cost to taxpayers.


  • Sh4.6 billion was borrowed in addition to the principle amount to pay interest in advance during the construction period, which to date has not commenced. This means that the government borrowed a loan and later on borrowed another loan to pay the interest of the first loan.

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