alexa Waititu retreats to Nairobi office as Nyoro takes charge - Daily Nation

Waititu retreats to Nairobi office as Nyoro takes charge

Saturday August 10 2019

Ferdinand Waititu

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is arraigned at a Milimani Law court on July 29, 2019 over abuse of office. He has now been barred from accessing his office. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has shifted his operations to the city centre after being ordered to keep off his office until a corruption case facing him is determined.

The decision to shift to Nairobi comes amid a split in the county Cabinet, with executives torn between supporting the governor or his deputy James Nyoro.

The Saturday Nation has learnt that Mr Waititu has been holding meetings with executives who are loyal to him at his new office on Koinange Street.

One such meeting took place on Tuesday as Mr Waititu waited to hear the results of an appeal which sought the revision of his bond terms, among them the order barring him from his Kiambu office.

WORK STALLS

The pro-Waititu camp largely comprises executives who were either directly or indirectly involved in his 2017 campaigns while those loyal to Dr Nyoro were beneficiaries of a pre-election deal between the county boss and a group of Kiambu businessmen who supported him during the campaigns.

Two executives who spoke to the Saturday Nation in confidence said they are not sure who to support, given that the two say they are in office legitimately.

“Not much is happening in Kiambu. Power politics has stalled progress; we are also confused on who to report to,” one of the executives said.

For the better part of the week, Mr Waititu has held his meetings at the 10th floor of his Koinange Street office — at a building he recently bought from Jamii Bora Bank.

NO SABOTAGE

Sources close to Mr Waititu said the Thursday court order has seriously affected his day-to-day operations as the governor cannot consult his juniors.

“He cannot make any transactions touching on county government projects. Mr Waititu does not like the fact that he has to consult Dr Nyoro on matters to do with Kiambu,” an executive who also did not want to be named said.

Mr Waititu confirmed that he has been holding meetings in Nairobi but denied they were aimed at interfering with the operations of the Kiambu devolved government.

“What is wrong with meeting my friends in my building? It is my right to meet whoever I want. My meetings have nothing to do with sabotaging Nyoro. Why sabotage him when I have executive powers? I am still his boss,” the governor said.

The building was at the centre of controversy when city county inspectorate officers raided it in August last year and arrested Mr Waititu’s wife and workers for making improvements to it without approval from the concerned authorities.

'I'M STILL THE BOSS'

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko stopped the operation after receiving a call from Mr Waititu.

Dr Nyoro did not respond to our calls on his next course of action following the ruling barring Mr Waititu from running the affairs of the devolved unit.

Mr Waititu however said he was only stopped from accessing the county headquarters, “but I still have executive powers”.

“The court never reduced my powers to run the affairs of Kiambu. I can meet my ministers even at my home and discuss issues that affect the people who voted for me,” Mr Waititu told the Saturday Nation by phone Friday.

Dr Nyoro has been seeking the support of ward representatives to run Kiambu County.

This week, Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge convened a Kiambu leaders and stakeholders meeting “to discuss development projects”.

The deputy governor attended the meeting that Mr Waititu skipped.