Former Kenya Power boss arrested over economic crimes

Former Kenya Power Company Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ben Chumo was Saturday morning arrested by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on suspicion of committing economic crimes during his stint at the company.

Chumo was arrested alongside the manager for Corporate affairs Beatrice Meso and Peter Mwicigi, General Manager Regional Co-ordination. The DCI is also seeking the arrest of other suspects in connection with the offences.

According to DCI, the three will be charged with offences of conspiring to commit an offence of economic crime namely fraudulent acquisition of public property, aiding commission of a felony, abuse of office, willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement among other charges.

Chumo’s arrest comes barely two weeks after he was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the new Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairman.

An Auditor General’s report in May lifted the lid on the fraudulent dealing that had been executed at the Kenya Power in its emergency repairs and improvement of its infrastructure.

Detectives from the Directorate of criminal investigations would move with speed to investigate the corrupt dealings which have now resulted in the indictment of the top management of the power supply firm.

The Director of Public prosecutions approving the prosecution of 11 individuals who include current CEO Ken Tarus and his predecessor Ben Chumo.

The economic  crimes cited by the DPP having been committed during Chumo’s tenure as Managing Director while Ken Tarus was the General Manager in charge of Finance.

The report by the DCI shows that the KPLC management acted in cahoots with private individuals and shadowy companies to effect payments that were fraudulent.

Muwa trading company accused of supplying faulty transformers that were now lying idle at the KPLC depot in Donholm.

Even having cost the tax payer over 4 billion shillings, Kenya power terminated their contract with the Muwa trading company occasioning a civil suit for breach of contract.

Kenya power lost in the bid to withhold the remaining payment to Muwa Trading Company at the High court. KPLC and Muwa engaged in negotiations over the dispute and filed an agreement at the Court of Appeal without disclosing the nature of concessions.

Even after it was clear that Muwa Trading Company had supplied some faulty transformers, KPLC released the rest of the payout leading to the loss of over 300 Million shillings.

Apart from Ken Tarus and Ben Chumo the top management of the firm will stand in the dock next week.

Beatrice Meso  the General Manager in charge of Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary, Peter Mungai Kinuthia the General Manager in charge of Business Strategy,

Joshua Mutua in charge of  Commercial Services Abubakar Swaleh  in charge of Human Resource & Administration  Samuel Ndirangu in charge of  Information Communications Technology, Stanley Mutwiri in charge of  Infrastructure Development, Benson Muriithi  the  Network Management  general Manager , Peter Mwicigi  of Regional Co-Ordination  and John Ombui  the General  Supply Chain will face charges alongside 5 directors of the Muwa Trading company.

On the award of other fraudulent tenders to shadowy companies that did not qualify, Kenya Power MD Ken Tarus,  Harun Karisa  the acting General Manager Finance,  Daniel Tare the  General Manager Network Management , Noah Ogano Omondi  the Manager, Network Management, Acting general Manager Supply chain Daniel Ochieng Muga  and John Mwaura Njehia  the Manager, Labour and Transport Projects will be charged in relation to the tender for supply of labor and transport floated last year  and the contracts awarded to various companies some of them fictitious.

Separately, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka is urging President Uhuru Kenyatta not to compromise in the ongoing war against graft.

The former vice president warns that the country’s economy stands at the precipice and could soon cross the red line if efforts are not made to thwart further disintegration.

Kalonzo raised the alarm amid calls for a reunion of former KANU stalwarts in a bid to produce a strong Presidential candidate in 2022.

Musyoka who was on a tour of Kajiado County attended the thanks giving ceremony of nominated Wiper party MCA Grace Parantai.

In the race for the 2022 presidential election, KANU legislator from Tiaty William Kamket urged Kalonzo to begin regrouping all leaders who previously worked under retired President Daniel Arap Moi to produce a formidable candidate for the country’s top seat.


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