Central Rift Valley Water Works Agency chief executive officer Samuel Oruma. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The Central Rift Valley Water Works Agency chief executive officer was Tuesday questioned by police following an alleged gun drama and assault.

Samuel Oruma was arrested on Tuesday afternoon at the agency’s offices in Nakuru shortly after the board sent him on compulsory leave pending investigations into corruption allegations.

Police were called when someone at the offices reported an altercation between the CEO and board members during the meeting.

Oruma is alleged to have drawn his gun after he was assaulted by one of the officers in the boardroom.

He was taken to Kaptembwo Police Station in Nakuru Town West, where he was interrogated and recorded a statement before being released.

The board chairman, Mathenge Nderitu, said the decision to suspend Oruma was informed by the ongoing investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) about a Sh1.7 billion tender in the Bomet-Longisa-Mulot water project.

“The board has resolved and directed that Eng Oruma proceed on compulsory leave so that investigations can be concluded,” he said.

Last week, the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, asked the board to suspend Oruma pending investigations into alleged procurement irregularities in the implementation of the project.

At the same time, the board appointed Douglas Murei, the general manager of corporate services, as the acting CEO.

“We have sent the CEO on compulsory leave and did not sack him because everyone deserves a fair hearing, and so we will wait for the investigative agency to conclude so that we can know the next cause of action,” said Nderitu.

He said the board was acting on the matter following the advice of the Head of Public Service.

Immediately after the board issued their statement, Oruma, who was standing near the podium during the press conference, stated addressing journalists.

But the board members walked back to the office, leaving him alone.

Oruma maintained his innocence, saying the allegations against him were political.

“I want to confirm that sometime early this year there was a matter presented in court and the matter was determined, that the same forces have been trying to force me out,” he said.

He claimed that an official at the agency had written several letters to the board seeking to have him suspended. Oruma claimed EACC has opened more than six investigation files targeting him, saying the latest is a claim that he has not gone to school.

“I want to set the record straight there is no money lost in Bomet and Mulot. The investigation that has been undertaken is about tender documentation and tendering process which was done by my predecessor,” he said. 

The drama intensified when Oruma went back to the office.

A woman employee ran out screaming, and asking police officers assigned to the installation to intervene.

An Administration Police officer stopped Oruma from leaving the premises. “Mr Oruma you can’t leave this facility. You whipped out a gun in there...” the officer said.

Oruma interjected: “I am the complainant. I have been beaten. What else would I have done? Am heading to the police station to record a statement.

“Why would a staff beat me? I have been kick-boxed. Why would they do that? All I am asking for is fair treatment.”

It was at this point that Oruma was whisked away in a police car.