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Anti-corruption agency goes after ex-Kiambu governor Waititu’s Sh1.9bn assets



Anti-corruption agency goes after ex-Kiambu governor Waititu’s Sh1.9bn assets

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has filed a case seeking to recover properties and money in accounts totalling Sh1.9 billion from former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and his relatives.

The EACC says in a case filed under a certificate of urgency that Mr Waititu and his spouse acquired the property between 2015 and 2020 when he was the MP for Kabete Constituency and later Kiambu governor.

The anti-graft body accuses Mr Waititu of exploiting his position for private gain by involving himself in transactions which were in conflict with the public interest and amassing wealth that was disproportionate to his known legitimate sources of income.

“The Commission pursuant to its investigations established that between January 2015 and July 2017 and August 2017 and January 2020… he amassed wealth to the tune of Sh1,937,709,376.54 which is not commensurate to his known legitimate sources of income,” the EACC said in the case.

The properties targeted include houses in Runda, Lakisama, Migaa Estate, Runda Grove and parcels of land in Embakasi Ranching, Thindigua and Kayole, all amounting to Sh280 million.

Also targeted by the commission are seven vehicles all valued at Sh24.4 million and money in bank accounts.

Mr Waititu was impeached by the Kiambu County Assembly in December 2019 over corruption among other malpractices. The decision that was upheld by the Senate in January 2020 and his attempts to challenge his ouster was thrown out by the High Court.

The anti-graft body also says some of the properties in Kabete in Kiambu and Kitengela in Kajiado have been registered in his wife’s name, while others have been registered in the name of his companies including Saika Two Estate Developers Ltd, Lexis International Ltd and Bins Management Services Ltd.

Some of the properties include two prime buildings on Biashara Street and a hotel on the same street, all are valued at Sh662 million.

The EACC says the hotel should be placed under receivership. He allegedly acquired them between 2017 and 2018 when he was the governor of Kiambu County.

Court documents state that Mr Waititu and his wife and companies made cumulative deposits of Sh1.3 billion and the court should decide whether they should be made to refund the money.

The Commission further says that between January 2015 and January 2020, Mr Waititu did not submit his statutory declaration for his income, assets and liabilities under the Public Officer Ethics Act, and Leadership and Integrity Act.

The EACC says he was issued notices to explain his wealth in September 2021 but he has never furnished the commission with any explanation as to the sources even after the period was extended to him.

In a statement, EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak said the commission is alarmed by the magnitude of looting of public resources revealed during investigations. The Commission has profiled most of the county governors and notes that a significant number have treated their tenure in office as an opportunity for self-enrichment.

The former governor and his family members are currently facing graft charges.