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Detectives close in on Waititu in Kiambu's Sh588m graft case

Tuesday July 16 2019

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. He is a man under siege with EACC officials looking for him after DPP Noordin Haji having authorised his arrest and arraignment over alleged corruption. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ERIC WAINAINA
By ERIC WAINAINA
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Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is a man under siege.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials are looking for him after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji authorised his arrest and arraignment over alleged corruption.

Mr Waititu, his wife Susan Wangari and their daughter Monica Njeri, the directors of M/S Testimony Enterprise, are being sought alongside top county officials over alleged graft relating to Sh588 million road tenders.

SHADOWY COMPANY

Detectives are also looking for Mr Charles Chege and his wife, Ms Beth Wangeci Mburu, the directors of M/S Testimony Enterprise, a shadowy company at the centre of the multi-million shilling graft probe.

The company was allegedly irregularly awarded tenders to improve roads in the county in 2018, and after being paid part of the money, it wired millions to two firms owned by the Waititus.

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MONEY LAUNDERING

The governor is also accused of using his position to siphon away millions of shillings through money laundering.

He also allegedly used his executive powers to suppress oversight by compromising the independence of the assembly.

Mr Waititu is reportedly playing a cat-and-mouse game with detectives to evade arrest.

Last Thursday, he moved to court seeking orders to stop the EACC from investigating him and also return the items they seized from his residence in May.

This is the second time the governor is seeking to bar the EACC from taking action against him.

COURT ORDERS

The first time, he got orders from a Kiambu court, which were later revoked by Chief Magistrate Patricia Gichohi after EACC lawyer Roslyn Murugi said the prosecution had convinced her that Mr Waititu was trying to use the court to defeat investigations and possible prosecution.

Off the courts, Mr Waititu’s political ship also seems to be sinking.

Last week, the tables were turned on him when unhappy ward representatives replaced his allies in key House leadership posts with his sworn opponents.

A fortnight ago, Majority Leader Antony Ikonya, Chief Whip James Mburu and their deputies were impeached over claims of conspiring with the governor and Speaker Stephen Ndicho to kill the independence of the House.

REPLACED

Mr Ikonya was replaced with Ndeiya MCA Gideon Gachara, one of the governor’s critics.

The new team vowed to kick out all those who have allegedly been working with the governor to frustrate the assembly.

Sources indicated that the members are now targeting Speaker Ndicho, his deputy and Cianda MCA Phillip Mubea.

Incompetent county executives, whom the MCAs described as “Waititu’s disciples”, have also been warned to either pull up their socks or exit the stage.

POPULARITY WANES

On the ground, the governor’s popularity has plummeted, with the electorate gradually showing disapproval of his leadership.

He has been heckled and faced protests several times.

Some of his staff, who have since quit, have turned against him, with some exposing the mess in his administration.

Attempts to reach the governor for comment were fruitless as he neither picked our calls nor replied our text messages.