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Lobby group plans to petition for Waititu's impeachment

Sunday November 3 2019

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. His troubles seem to be far from over after a lobby group calling itself Okoa Kiambu said it will on Wednesday present a memorandum to the county assembly to speed up his impeachment over claims of corruption and abuse of office. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SIMON CIURI
By SIMON CIURI
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The troubles facing embattled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu seem to be far from over after a lobby group calling itself Okoa Kiambu said it will on Wednesday present a memorandum to the county assembly to speed up his impeachment over claims of corruption and abuse of office.

The comes days after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji revealed that 68 witnesses have been lined up to testify in the Sh580 million graft case against Mr Waititu, his wife Susan Wangari and eight others.

FRAUD

They are accused of conspiring to defraud the county of Sh588 million through irregular award of road tenders to their cronies in exchange for kickbacks.

The trial is expected to run from January 21 to February 6, 2020.

Okoa Kiambu told the Nation on Saturday that they have collected 130,000 signatures that they intended to submit to the assembly.

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“On Wednesday next week, we will gather at Ndumberi Stadium for a rally that is being organised by community-based organisations and later submit the signatures to the assembly for action,” said Hoswell Kinuthia, an official of Okoa Kiambu.

MOLES

The activists accused Mr Waititu of planting moles within both the assembly and the executive to frustrate Deputy Governor James Nyoro.

Mr Waititu was barred by the court from accessing the county offices after he was implicated in graft.

“We are aware that Mr Waititu is using MCAs and some county executives to impede Mr Nyoro from running the affairs of the county effectively,” said Mr Kinuthia.

He further noted Mr Waititu had fallen short of the requirements of Chapter 6 of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act after being charged in court with corruption.

Efforts to contact Mr Waititu for a comment were unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls and text messages.

PLEA TO UHURU

Mr Kinuthia said if the assembly does not act on their demands, they will write to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve the county and call for fresh elections.

Even as this is happening, more problems seem to be facing Mr Waititu’s allies.

The assembly impeached the county executive for Youth Affairs, Sports, ICT and Communication Mr Karungo Thang’wa over claims of incompetence, abuse of office and gross misconduct.

Mr Thang’wa, a former radio journalist, has been the face of resistance against Mr Nyoro.

Mr Thang’wa, a close ally of Mr Waititu, has openly declared that he would not work with Mr Nyoro after Mr Waititu was pushed out.

RESHUFFLE

When Mr Nyoro decided to move Roads, Transport, Public Works and Energy Executive Juliet Kimemia and her Finance and Planning counterpart, former MP for Gatundu North Kigo Njenga, over what he termed as poor service delivery and in a bid to fix revenue loopholes, Mr Thang’wa went public and criticised the move, terming Mr Nyoro as a ceremonial governor with no powers.

The Kiambu MCA’s accused Mr Thang’wa of sleeping on the job.

They said he has been undermining Mr Nyoro and failing to attend executive meetings.

JIJENGE FUND

The MCAs also took him to task over the Jijenge Fund, a revolving fund targeting young people who would want to open businesses, saying money has not been disbursed two years since the applicants applied for the loans.

They also accused Mr Thang’wa of launching a county football tournament, dubbed the Kiambu Super Cup, which was used to embezzle millions of shillings.

A few months ago, the assembly committee on Youth, Sports and Social Services heard that the Youth department used Sh1.9 million to launch the tournament at the county headquarters on April 1.

Mr Thang’wa was accused of presiding over procurement of financial institutions to oversee the disbursement of the Jijenge Fund contrary to the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005.

Mr Thang’wa is expected to appear before the committee on Monday.