Governor Waititu to spend night at Industrial Area prison


Governor Waititu to spend night at Industrial Area prison
File image of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu in court. PHOTO| COURTESY

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu will spend Tuesday night at the Industrial Area remand prison after he failed to process his cash bail on time.

His wife Susan Wangari on the other hand will be detained at the Lang’ata Womens Prison.

The Governor was on Tuesday released on a cash bail of Ksh.15 million and Ksh.30 million bond after denying graft charges over a Ksh.588 million irregular tender.

Waititu and his wife have spent the last two days in custody after they presented themselves to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on Sunday following arrest orders issued by the DPP.

They were arrested on Sunday and charged on Monday but were detained pending a ruling on their bail application on Tuesday.

In the bail ruling on Tuesday, Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi at Milimani Law Courts further directed that Governor Waititu and all accused county officials be barred from accessing the Kiambu County offices until the case is heard and determined.

“It is necessary to guard the risk of interfering with the witnesses in the case by imposing conditions…restricting him is necessary and to ensure public interest is safeguarded,” he said.

“I agree with Justice Mumbi Ngugi decision. It is a decision that dealt deeper with the section 66 it’s persuasive and authoritative…Barring him from going to office does not amount to his removal from office as a governor but uphold the integrity of the case,” the magistrate added.

The court noted that barring Governor Waititu and other county officials will not create any vacuum as presented by the defence.

The accused persons were also directed to deposit all the travel documents to minimise travel without the leave of the court.

Waititu’s wife wife Susan Wangari and four other county officials were released on a cash bail of Ksh. 4million each and a bond of Ksh. 10million each or a surety of a similar amount.

Further, all civil servants who are alleged to have sat in the tender committee were released on a Ksh. 1million cash bail each.

The accused were also warned against interfering with witnesses or any evidence.

Governor Waititu and his wife were charged alongside eight other suspects with the embezzelement of  over Ksh.588 million public funds in Kiambu County.

Governor Waititu was charged with conflict of interest for allegedly receiving Ksh. 25,624,500 from Testimony Enterprises Limited; a company that had been awarded contracts by the Kiambu County Government.

The court heard that between July 2, 2018 and March 13, 2019, being the Director of Saika Two Estate Developers Ltd, Waititu received Ksh. 18,410,500 from Testimony Enterprises Limited.

The governor and his wife also faced a joint charge of dealing with suspect property. They were accused that being proprietors of Bienvenue Delta Hotel they jointly received Ksh. 7,214,000 from Testimony Enterprises Limited through corrupt conduct.

The directors of Testimony Enterprises Ltd — Charles Chege and Beth Wangeci — were charged with money laundering and engaging in a fraudulent practice.

Lukas Wahinya (Kiambu County Chief Officer Roads) was charged with abuse of office while the county evaluation committee members faced charges of wilful failure to comply with procurement laws.

They however denied the charges.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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