Ambassador Francis Muthaura for a second time has validated the Anglo-leasing contract stating it was executed within the confines of the law.
Muthaura testified for 45 minutes in a packed Nairobi courtroom and laughed off alleged irregularities on government procedures leading up to the contracts he said had raised audit queries.
But two two crucial witnesses, AG Githu Muigai and former Solicitor General, Muthoni Kimani, skipped the court date forcing a constrained prosecution to request for an adjournment.
Secretaries had the mandate
Asked if Permanent Secretaries had the mandate to sign-up contractual documents, the former head of civil service said “that is perfectly normal…they were, and I believe they still are authorised.”
Muthaura who wields an expansive experience in government, told the trial court the contract was done within government rules and that nothing was done illegally.
He said the issues raised on the 18 Anglo-leasing related contracts ” were not conclusive and required more investigations, which prompted the commissioning of Pricewaterhouse Coopers(PwC) to report on “pricing.”
He said the the audit was more concerned with the pricing as opposed to whether goods had been delivered.
Could not be reached
Muthaura told court PwC report recommended “further investigations.” He said the E-Cops case at hand had been stopped before it took off and was among those an advisor (read John Githongo) had raised issues with.
He said he did not know the contract details in its entirety “as security procurement(s) are a guarded system,” but confirmed it had the approval of the Cabinet.
The AG was said to be engaged in other more pressing state matters, while Muthoni had gone to process a VISA at the German embassy and could not be reached on phone thereafter.
Trial magistrate, Martha Mutuku, said the prosecution had made an undertaking to present 12 witnesses of whom only two had testified.
Hearing continues on March 14 2018.