Waititu mum on alleged family's hand in Kiambu graft probe

Friday May 24 2019

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is escorted to a waiting van by detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission after they raided his home at Kencom Estate on Kiambu Road on May 24, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

CHARLES WASONGA
By CHARLES WASONGA
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ERIC WAINAINA
By ERIC WAINAINA
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Besieged Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has left the public guessing on the alleged involvement of his family members in theft of millions of shillings from the county coffers.

The governor, who is accused of presiding over the alleged loss of close to Sh600 million, has neither denied nor admitted claims that his daughters did business with the county.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has accused him of conflict of interest after it emerged that some of his relatives got tenders.

"Preliminary investigations show that contractors paid monies to senior county officials, their companies or relatives through proxies," the statement reads in part.

FREE TO DO BUSINESS

But in an interview with the Nation on Thursday evening after his release from police custody, Mr Waititu said “anybody is free do business with the county government of Kiambu”.

“I want to state clearly that any Kenyan has a right to do business with the county government of Kiambu so long as he or she is qualified,” he said without elaborating further.

Unconfirmed reports had said that one of Mr Waititu’s daughters was among the 15 people being targeted in the ongoing investigations by the EACC detectives.

The outspoken governor, popularly known as Baba Yao, is also being investigated over alleged corruption in a number of his county programmes, including ‘Kaa Sober’, which was aimed at rehabilitating alcoholics.

The initiative was said to have gobbled close to Sh700 million before it was terminated.

ARREST

His arrest on Thursday came hours after the Kiambu County Assembly rushed and passed a supplementary budget in which it approved an expenditure of Sh722 million under the controversial programme.

The approval of the budget was widely seen as a scheme to regularise the controversial expenditure in which millions of shillings are suspected to have been stolen.

Mr Waititu was released after being granted Sh500,000 anticipatory bail.

Kiambu Principal Magistrate Brian Khaemba ordered the governor to present himself alongside his lawyers to a police station.