Turkwel Gorge Dam
The EEC estimated cost of the project was between US $294 and US $362 million. The final actual cost to the Kenya Government was US $165.7 million. There was therefore no loss to the Kenyan tax payer.
– Biwotts Lawyer
KROLL ON BIWOTT – TURKWEL GORGE DAM
The Kenya Kroll Report alleged that Nicholas Biwott ‘siphoned’ funds from the Turkwel Gorge Hydro-Electric Dam Project (‘Turkwel Gorge’).
DID KROLL GET IT RIGHT?
Biwott’s lawyer said:
There was no overpricing or surplus funds generated out of the Turkwel Gorge project. There was no laundering of funds.
Financing for the project was provided by France; the contractors and sub-contractors were paid in French Francs.
The EEC estimated cost of the project was between US $294 and US $362 million. There was no loss to the Kenyan tax payer.
The Turkwell facts are in the public domain and easily verifiable. The facts can also be verified with the relevant French authorities.
Turkwell Gorge Government files were declassified and made publicly accessible in 2000 by the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Public Service to the Kenya Government, Richard Leakey. Kroll, it seems, did not bother to look at them.
The information was also made public in Hansard, Parliamentary Debates of June 8, 2000 when Nicholas Biwott tabled all relevant documents in Parliament for inspection. These documents are also available for inspection by the public. Kroll did not bother to look at these documents.
The information was also made available in a court judgement in March 2002 (High Court Case No 2143 of 1999) where the Court found as a fact that there was no foundation to the allegations, a judgment that was later upheld in a ruling by Chief Justice Gicheru of Kenya dated 8 December 2004 and is a matter of public record.
THE SOURCE INVESTIGATES…
Documents declassified by R.E. Leakey in June 2000, then Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Services, indicate that the Kenyan government did issue a letter on 8 May 1985 that was circulated to 36 parties to solicit support from governments and institutions for the funding of Turkwel.
Contrary to Kenyan media coverage regarding the Turkwel Dam project alleging that there was no genuine tendering process or feasibility studies, there were in fact four feasibility studies conducted and at least seven bids submitted.
Of the four feasibility studies undertaken in preparation for the Turkwel Dam project, the last was carried out in 1984 by Preece, Cadrew & Rider of the UK, commissioned by the EEC. It established the technical and economic viability of the Turkwel Gorge hydro-electric project, evaluated the three previous feasibility studies and estimated the cost of the Turkwel project at US$ 294 – US$ 362 million.
In 1985, seven countries submitted bid. The French Government provided the most favorable terms as they offered a turn key project and the Kenyan Cabinet awarded it the contract.
In 1986 a contract was entered into between the Ministry of Finance and the French Government. The negotiated and agreed cost of the project was US $ 201.4 million. This figure was less than the EEC feasibility study cost range.
THE COST OF THE TURKWEL CONTRACT
The Kenya Kroll Report claimed that the original cost of the Turkwel contract was between $70-80 million but reached about $270 million. The figure of $70-80 million however, was given to Kroll by ‘Source A’, Alnoor Kassam (a proven liar and fraudster who lost a court case to Biwott and was wanted by Interpol) and does not appear anywhere else. There is no evidence that the Turkwel project was ever priced at this figure. The feasibility studies, the fixed contract-pricing of what was a turnkey project, and the final costs, do not support Kroll’s re-statement of Kassam’s version.
FINAL AND ACTUAL COST
The Turkwel Dam project was completed by the French in 1991, two years ahead of the estimated schedule. Prior to the completion of the project the French Government wrote off US $ 35.7 million. Thecontract to the Kenyan Government was therefore $165.7 million (i.e., the $201.4 million project cost less the $35.7 million written off by the French Government) half the cost estimated in the EEC commissioned feasibility study report.
TURKWEL GORGE AND KENOL
The Kenya Kroll Report stated that, according to ‘Source A’ (Alnoor Kassam), the proceeds from the Turkwel Gorge project was used to purchase Kenol (incorrectly spelt Kenoil in the report). The Source did not find any evidence during the course of our research to support this claim. Instead, the relevant timings suggest that Kenol was acquired while the Turkwel Gorge project was still in its feasibility stage. According to an article in the Business Daily dated 17 August 2009, Kenol fell into receivership in 1981 and was purchased the following year.
The official documents of the Turkwel Gorge project show that the final feasibility study was carried out in 1983/1984. The contract for the project was not awarded until 1985.
The available evidence therefore indicates that Kenol was purchased prior to the final decision to implement the Turkwel Dam project.