Italian firm in dams probe says it’s ready for job

All the money given is secured through a bank guarantee, say officials.

In Summary

• The top company officials met in Eldoret on Friday and denied firm is bankrupt.

• The officials said the company had bought a variety of materials including towels, tiles, and alcohol for maintenance staff.

DAMS CMC Di Ravenna officials led by Nauro Abbafati (L) and Eva Luongo showing maps for the dams at a meeting in Eldoret

The Italian company contracted to build Arror and Kimwarer dams says it is ready to start work amid investigations of Sh21 billion loss.

But it says it has no access to the sites. “We are very ready with more than 40 engineers and 150 other staff to start work but we have no access to the site of the projects. We are waiting for KVDA to grant us access,” said the projects’ chief engineer Eva Luongo.

Luongo said they had finalised the initial work on designs and brought machinery into the country.

He and other senior officials of CMC Di Ravenna said on Friday in Eldoret that the company was not bankrupt. They also denied giving kickbacks to top government officials.

We are very ready with more than 40 engineers and 150 other staff to start work but we have no access to the site of the projects. We are waiting for KVDA to grant us access

Projects’ chief engineer Eva Luongo

The Director of Criminal Investigations is probing likely loss of funds for the two dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet.

The Italians, among them project manager Nauro Abbafati, acknowledged they received Sh7 billion which was 15 per cent of the total cost.

They said the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract they signed with the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) required that they be paid the 15 per cent before the work begins.

The officials said the company had bought a variety of material including towels, tiles, alcohol and foodstuff but “all the items were for use at Arror” by maintenance staff.

CMC has offices at the KVDA Plaza in Eldoret.

Abaffati denied that the company had no capacity to undertake the two projects, adding that they were in the country to stay.

“All the money we were given is secured through a bank guarantee,” he said.

The manager said they were working well with KVDA and other relevant agencies despite the ongoing probe by the DCI.

“We are not concerned with the DCI probe because we did nothing wrong and all we are here to do work on the two dams and complete it within the set 60-month timeline,” Abbafati said.

The government had gazetted more than 6,500 acres to be acquired from 1,000 families at Arror and Kimwarer. But the families have reclaimed the land after the government failed to relocate and compensate them.

Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has asked the families to stay put until they are compensated.
KVDA chief executive David Kimosop, several Cabinet secretaries and top government officials have been interrogated over the two dams.

Luongo said they had completed conceptual designs for both projects and were working on detailed designs.

News Agencies

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