A firm connected with the Ex-Kenya Power and Lighting Company boss Samuel Gichuru has confessed that it collected some money said to be illegal from 11 firms that sought contracts in Kenya, in his interest.
Some documents retrieved from Royal Court of Jersey shows that a handful of officials from the 11 different firms have testified how the bribes were paid to Gichuru and the reason for the payment.
The cash was forwarded to Windward Trading Ltd, which confessed in court to four counts of money laundering last week in the interest of Gichuru.
The court document indicates Windward Trading Ltd via its Jersey company, Camargo, received some cash from Knight Piésold, a civil engineering consultancy firm.
Knight Piésold worked widely in Kenya starting from the 1970s. The company has also worked on extensive projects for KPLC.
Two of the company directors, Peter Garatt and a Mr Illes, were also named in the document which proves that some bribes were given to Gichuru.
Garratt was quoted as having told Jersey prosecutors.
It was impossible to do work in Kenya without paying commissions to important political figures. It was like a tax. KP paid such commissions to various people. Without doing so, we would never have been able to work there. One person we paid was Samuel Gichuru.
Illes noted that the money he gave to Gichuru to make him KP’s agent was put down in KPLC record, in the form of inflated budget estimates and then invoices.
Windward also admitted that another company known as Mott MacDonald made some payment into its account.
The English firm which deals in a mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy business, has done some works with Knight Piésold on a lot of KPLC projects.
In the testimony, Mike Durham, former director of Mott MacDonald, explained to Jersey authorities that he was aware his firm agreed to take care of Gichuru.
According to what Durham said in his testimony:
The only purpose of these payments was to help Gichuru to give us contracts, and to help us have a good relationship with him.
Wartsila, which is a Finnish group of companies, was awarded a £57 million (Sh8.1 billion) contract to build diesel power station at Kipevu, Mombasa – an amount it submitted in its tender.
Wartsila didn’t just get the contract. The firm had to bribe its way to gain the contract. The document shows it greased Windward hand with £3 million (Sh426 million) and £900,000 (Sh128 million) before it won the tender. The money is part of “a false consultancy agreement.”
The same document quoted John Glover, a senior sales manager with John Brown Engineering, as describing the payments to Windward “as bribes for Gichuru.”
The manager accused Gichuru of not being concerned about the success of the project but about his own fair share of the money.
Additionally, Coburg Investments, formerly owned by Gichuru, made a payment amounting to $779,000 (Sh79 million) into Windwar’s account.
The document reads:
Documents obtained from Coburg reveal that these payments came from Motorola Communications Israel.
Coburg would collect up to 17 per cent of every cash transactions to Motorola Communications Israel by KPLC for “finding contracts.”
Quoting the document
Coburg Investments was a BVI company administered from Jersey. It provided Gichuru with anonymity. The administrators at Coburg Investments noted that Gichuru was to be preferred to only as SG and didn’t want anything in writing.
Geothermal Energy, W Lucy, Capitan Europe, Gapco Tanzania and Leopard Systems were also listed in the court document.