Kenya: Witness Testifies 'How Governor Stole Money and Shared It Out'

28 January 2020

Kiambu County Assembly has portrayed Governor Ferdinand Waititu as a corrupt individual who used his position to steal resources and share them out with his family.

Ndenderu MCA Solomon Kinuthia, who was the first to take the witness box Tuesday, accused the governor of overcommitting county resources out of a rapacious desire to get kickbacks for personal benefit.

Mr Kinuthia further told the Senate that Mr Waititu's wife and daughter regularly participated in the awarding of tenders in full knowledge of the governor, yet the relationship was never disclosed as required by the law.

"His wife and daughter participated in the tendering process and were expeditiously paid yet none of them declared this obvious conflict of interest," Mr Kinuthia told the House during the first day of the impeachment trial.

Mr Waititu was impeached on December 19 last year.

In articles of impeachment read to him by the Clerk of Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye, the MCAs accuse the governor of disregarding the assembly as an arm of the county government and undermining its three cardinal roles of legislation, oversight and representation through systematic nonremittance of requisitioned funds in the financial year 2018/2019.

The MCAs accuse the governor of diverting funds intended for use by the assembly to projects, where he would obtain personal benefits through irregular procurement.

The assembly further accuses the governor of failing to adhere to the stipulated dictates of the law in awarding Sh2.1 billion road tarmacking contracts against an approved budget of Sh1.4 billion in the 2018/19 financial year. "The purpose of the irregular awards was to enable the governor to obtain personal benefits through kickbacks," the assembly says.

The assembly says the governor's conduct has exposed the county to huge losses through potential suits for breach of contract and the ever rising pending bills.

The assembly further accuses the governor of unlawful acquisition and occupation of property through forceful dispossession of Ms Cecilia Njoki Mbugua, a widow, of two prime plots of land within Thika Municipality.

The assembly argues that Mr Waititu promptly facilitated the irregular transfer of the land totalling to 0.135ha in January 2018 to Ms Esther Wamuyu Nyatu, who the assembly claims is his common law wife.

The reps accuse the governor of usurping the powers of the County Public Service Board to regulate the engagement of persons on contract, volunteers and casual workers by directly creating directorates and hiring staff on casual basis. They further claim that the governor hired over 600 casuals without the involvement of the board.

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