NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich was arrested on Monday on suspicion of corruption related to the construction of two dams. Despite Kenya’s notorious graft, it is unprecedented for a sitting minister to be arrested for corruption.
Charges against Rotich, announced on Monday, stem from a police investigation into the misuse of funds in a dam project overseen by the Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna.
Rotich denied any wrongdoing in a large newspaper advertisement in March. The company has also denied any wrongdoing.
Rotich and his co-accused face eight charges, ranging from conspiring to defraud and financial misconduct, Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions, said. The minister and other officials will have to resign immediately, he said.
Rotich was arrested shortly after the charges were announced, George Kinoti, the head of the police Directorate of Criminal Investigations, told Reuters in a text message.