EACC probing Sonko and Waititu over graft

Tuesday May 7 2019

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko during the

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko during the launch of the Human Milk Bank at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital on March 29, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

 NYAMBEGA GISESA
By NYAMBEGA GISESA
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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC)  is investigating Nairobi and Kiambu governors Mike Sonko and Ferdinand Waititu over abuse of office, corruption and unexplained wealth.

The Nation has learned that the governors' cases are among high profile files that the EACC plans to forward to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for prosecution.

BANK BALANCES

In addition to the governors' cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Noordin Haji, is also expected to take up the case of the Principal Secretary for Housing, Mr Charles Hinga, following the conclusion of investigations on corruption and abuse of office.

Mr Haji will also be receiving files for prosecution from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on the multi-billion shilling dams’ scandal.

The Kiambu governor, who has been in the news recently over questionable expenditure at the county in the last financial year, is facing allegations of procurement irregularities and unexplained expenditures.

Mr Waititu has also been questioned over his recent property acquisitions, including that of a building located within the central business district. But in videos posted online by his supporters, Mr Waititu claims the investigations are politically influenced. He says he has worked hard to acquire his property.

Mr Sonko, who according to investigators is not known for any major investments, has been asked to explain the source of the monies he splashes around as well as his property including his Mua Hills residence in Machakos County. In the 2017/2018 financial reports, the auditor general unearthed several anomalies in the books of Nairobi  County.

The anomalies included unaccounted for cash withdrawals totalling Sh209 million, irregular payment of suppliers through cash amounting to Sh381 million and undisclosed bank balances of Sh3 billion.

AUDIT REPORTS

When he appeared before the Senate about two weeks ago, Mr Sonko claimed that officers from the auditor general’s office had asked him for a Sh100 million bribe so as to alter the audit reports in his favour.

However, he has not responded to requests by the Nation to provide  evidence on the allegations for further investigations.

Mr Sonko and Mr Waititu face accusations of flouting the requirement that all tenders are advertised online in the procurement portal.

Mr Hinga, who has been the face of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s affordable housing agenda, is accused of abuse of office after he ordered for the cancellation of a contract that had been awarded to a local company.

Investigators say that PS Hinga went on to propose that the contract be awarded to a Chinese contractor.

Sources have told the Nation that the scandal involving the construction of two Sh61 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet County will see senior government officials prosecuted.

Government officials who were interviewed during the investigations include former Water Principal Secretary Fred Segor, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.