POLITICAL pressure related to the floating of Eurobond led to the reopening of Anglo-leasing investigations and charges being brought even though nothing had changed in terms of evidence form 2006 when the files were closed, a former government bureaucrat has disclosed.
John Kamau Murugu who sat at the apex of the country’s treasury for 25 years told a magistrate that investigations only started in 2015 due to the Eurobond issue or else no charges would have been brought as there had been insufficient evidence since 2006.
He recalled that in 2006 there had been a proposal to prosecute the case(s) and then the director of KACC, now EACC, (rtd) justice Aaron Ringera “attempted to charge but the AG raised an issue and wanted certain issues fulfilled before the parties were taken to court.”
“The heat relating to the contracts went down until 2015 when the same charges that Ringera was stopped from prosecuting were reinstated,” Kamau said.
Refused to prosecute
He said it is the same documents that were to be used in prosecuting the case in 2006 that were resurrected in 2015.
“Nothing had really been concluded on these matters,” the prosecution witness restated.
He said he was aware the Attorney General refused to prosecute the case(s) and returned the files to EACC.
The period leading to the re-opening of the case file(s), the court heard, was directly linked to the Eurobond saga after Kenya was directed to repay its foreign debts before being illegible for loans.
Kamau said Anglo-leasing contracts were budgeted for,rescheduled as new loans in the Consolidated Funds Services(CFS) kitty, and approved by Parliament respectively.
He said state officials signed the contracts according to all provisions of the external loans and credit Act adding that the Auditor General had the final approval for payments.
The witness said PriceWaterHouse(PwC) was contracted by Treasury at the height of investigations and that he was aware its sourcing kicked off a storm that landed in court and the audit firms report quashed from proceedings.
“I know the matter went to court and the report could later not be used,” the witness said adding that he had no evidence to show of “irregularities and illegalities in the contracts.”
Kamau said he had not joined the Treasury juggernaut when most of the contracts in question had been entered into but he saw the paper trail.
The technocrat said he would not be authoritative on matters that arose before he took office.
“These were issues of budget…I was not there but I saw,” he said.
He said the Controller and Auditor General(CAG) approved all payments.
Kamau said the Angloleasing investigations were marred with challenges including the leaving of office of people who formally handled the documents involved.The documents were not available in originals, they were either lost, or the people concerned were afraid to give them out, and of course…the time factor was also an issue, he said.
He clarified that Angloleasing was generic term and did not refer to any contract in particular.
Kamau said he had neither had a shred of evidence of irregularity nor illegality in the Info-talent case in question and was aware that the PwC audit had been, and remains quashed, to date.
Hearing continues on March 14 2019.