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Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria blames Senator Kembi Gitura over EACC raid

By Boniface Gikandi
Updated Sat, January 23rd 2016 at 10:40 GMT +3
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria greets his supporters in Murang’a town shortly after EACC officers completed a search of his Gatanga home on Thursday.  [PHOTO: BONIFACE GIKANDI/STANDARD]

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has blamed his recent tribulations on Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura and accused him of being among those who were determined to sabotage his efforts to promote development in the county.

Speaking on Thursday after detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) concluded a search at his Gatanga home, Iria said all leaders must unite if the county is to develop.

“Let it be known that I have a development agenda to execute, but the Murang’a senator has launched an onslaught on me. I am determined to focus on my development agenda despite obstacles placed in my way by those out to undermine my leadership,” said Iria.

On Thursday, police came to the rescue of  EACC detectives who raided the governor’s home in Kiboi village. This was after a group of boda boda riders and the governor’s supporters stormed the home as the detectives were conducting their search. The EACC officials had to be whisked away to safety by the police.

Iria described his questioning by EACC detectives as traumatising,  especially because the officials woke him up at 4am.

“They turned my house upside down. I had Sh20,000 in my pockets which got lost in the process but I will pursue the matter to the end as that is the only amount I had. My daughter’s school bag was also subjected to a thorough search but the detectives only found an exercise book, snacks and a sharpener,” said the governor.

“I am demanding that EACC publicly declares what they found in my residence,” said Iria.

Senator Gitura has distanced himself from claims that he is behind the governor's misfortunes, and said: “I will continue to raise issues that touch on corruption."

The senator has been critical of the acquisition of a 34-acre parcel by the county government in Makuyu area at Sh340 million, and has insisted that the cost was inflated. He has also raised concern over the expenditure of Sh28 million on Shilingi kwa Shilingi, an investment vehicle initiated by the county government, yet was found by a probe team to be a private enterprise.

Gitura, who was speaking at a meeting with the crew of a matatu sacco at Mothers Union Hall in Murang’a, was accompanied by Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau.

Kamau waded into the dispute and warned the governor against dragging his name in his personal battles. The MP claimed that the governor had mobilised a mob to disrupt EACC detectives from conducting a search at his Gatanga home.

“It is a gross impunity for the youth to be hired to disrupt the EACC from doing their work,” he said.

The MP also criticised Murang’a County Commissioner Kula Hache for failing to have the youths arrested.

“The county commissioner should flex her muscles and arrest the hooligans," said Kamau.

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