NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya Power’s Chief Executive Officer gave himself up to police on Sunday and was in their custody, police said, a day after the east African country said it wanted to charge him over alleged economic crimes.
Kenya has had a new series of scandals involving bogus tenders and suppliers with the alleged theft of hundreds of millions of shillings by state officials from several government bodies.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Twitter that Ken Tarus, the head of the state-run power distributor, was in their custody.
Tarus was not immediately reachable for comment.
Over the weekend, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations has arrested 11 other Kenya Power managers and former managers including Ben Chumo, former Kenya Power chief executive officer.[nL8N1UA098]
Chumo denied any wrongdoing.
“I am disappointed that such charges can be trumped up against me. I served KPLC for 32 years. My record is evident,” he told Reuters by phone on Sunday.
The Director of Public Prosecutions’ office said it planned to charge the managers and officials of eight companies in relation to alleged economic crime and abuse of office.
The prosecutor’s office said some of the charges arose from a 2012 contract involving Kenya Power and Muwa Trading which led to the loss of $3.1 million for the supply of transformers, most of which the prosecutor said were faulty.
The office said other charges arose from the awards of labor and transport contracts in 2017.
The government led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was re-elected last year, has said it is undertaking a renewed push to tackle graft.
But few high profile convictions have occurred since Kenyatta first took office in 2013, leaving many Kenyans skeptical about the latest moves to prosecute dozens of civil servants over the disappearance of nearly $100 million from the coffers of a government agency. [nL5N1T02Y3]
Reporting by Humphrey Malalo and George Obulutsa. Editing by Jane Merriman