Waititu, wa Iria grilled in county graft probe



Waititu, wa Iria grilled in county graft probe

Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu
Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Governor Ferdinand Waititu, who in recent months has been facing accusations of misappropriating money from the County Government of Kiambu, was Thursday arrested by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers who held him for interrogation until his release last evening on Sh500,000 bail.

His Murang’a County counterpart, Mwangi wa Iria, was on Wednesday evening also grilled at the EACC office in Nyeri over the controversial purchase of a 10-acre piece of land in Kabati at an alleged inflated price of Sh390 million.

The interrogation lasted three hours, but it is not clear whether Mr wa Iria is a suspect or witness in the ongoing investigation.

The EACC officers pounced on Mr Waititu Thursday morning in connection with an ongoing investigation where he is accused of fraudulent acquisition of public funds, conflict of interest and money laundering from the county treasury.

The governor was escorted out of his residence at Kencom Estate on Kiambu Road at around midday after six hours of interrogation and search.

Mr Waititu, according to EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak, is accussed of having irregularly awarded Sh588 million worth of tenders to companies associated with him and his immediate family members.

Preliminary investigations, according to a statement by the EACC chief, show that contractors also paid kickbacks to senior county officials and their companies or relatives through proxies.

The officers entered the palatial home at around 5am and searched the house, his Toyota Prado and a Lexus believed to belong to his alleged second wife where they found a bunch of documents that were carted away.

The anti-corruption officers, who were reinforced by armed regular police officers, also found GK number plates and clothes in the boot of a car of the outspoken governor which they also carried away.

The governor was ordered out of his house Number 110, which he has occupied for less than two years, and was escorted into a waiting white GK van where he was sandwiched between two detectives and taken to the EACC headquarters for further questioning.

Mr Waititu’s residence at Garden Estate off Thika Road where his first wife, Susan, lives was also raided but no arrests were made.

Search operations were also conducted in the county offices and homes of the county chief’s relatives, directors of private companies, and ten senior employees of the county government where “valuable evidence relevant to the investigations was recovered.”


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