Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was Thursday arrested and taken to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices for questioning over corruption allegations in Kiambu County.
According to a statement by EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak, the commission was investigating Waititu for the irregular award of tenders valued at Sh588 million to companies associated with Waititu and his immediate family.
Mbarak said preliminary investigations showed that contractors paid money to senior county officials, their companies or relatives through proxies.
He said investigations will also cover the fraudulent acquisition of public funds, conflict of interest and money laundering.
The EACC boss said during the searches in the homes of the Governor, his relatives, directors of private companies and senior employees of the county government, valuable evidence was collected.
The arrest came after a six-hour raid at his home. The EACC officers went to Waititu’s homes in Runda, Kiambu and Garden estate where they ransacked them for documents.
Waititu was at his Runda home when the team pounced.
Officials said apart from Waititu, 15 other county officials were targeted.
Waititu has been on the radar of EACC over claims of graft and his sudden wealth in the city. The commission has been conducting a lifestyle audit on Waititu and says it has gathered crucial evidence.
KRA is also taking a closer look at the governor's tax records. Waititu has denied claims of corruption and insisted his property was legally acquired.
A fortnight ago, Waititu was at pains to explain to the senatorial Public Accounts and Investments Committee how his government had budget lines for South Sudan Peace process, the Statehouse and remuneration for presidents.
He said the lines were sneaked into the budget by his enemies and was not aware of them until that moment.
Earlier on, Waititu told his critics he had made his money above board after being accused of awarding contracts to his relatives.
“That is a big lie,” he said. “I want people to know that even before venturing in politics 20 years ago when I was elected councilor, I was already driving a Mercedes limousine and a Range Rover besides owning a palatial home in Nairobi and running 25 lorries on the road,” he said.
The governor said he was in full support of the fight against corruption being spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He added that he was ready for a lifestyle audit as directed by the president recently.
“People should not use the ongoing fight against graft to settle political scores and fighting those they are intending to vie against in the next elections," he added.
Register to advertise your products & services on our classifieds website Digger.co.ke and enjoy one month subscription free of charge and 3 free ads on the Standard newspaper.