Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was rudely woken up yesterday by security agents conducting an investigation into Sh588 million worth of suspect procurement deals.
Detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), who were backed by a dozen regular police offers, stormed Waititu’s house, which is situated in a high-end gated community on the fringes of Runda, at a few minutes to 6am.
As officers marched into the house, simultaneous raids were also being conducted at the governor’s other residences.
One agent involved in the operation said the family was still sleeping when the raid started.
Their mission was to find documents which they believe are crucial to their investigation on alleged fraud at the governor's office and believed to be perpetrated by family members and proxies.
The detectives ransacked the house for hours while appearing to maintain constant communication with their colleagues who were searching Waititu’s other properties.
Documents believed to be vital were retrieved from his official vehicle, a Toyota VX, which was parked in the carport in the tiny compound.
It was not until noon that Waititu emerged from the house, walked to the car and peered through the window.
Clad in a sleeveless jacket over a checked shirt, blue trousers and matching casual shoes, the governor appeared both composed but unbelieving of the turn of events.
He managed a wan smile and without uttering a word to the waiting journalists, he boarded a waiting van and was whisked away to Integrity Centre for questioning.
With him in the 14-seater vehicles were detectives, armed police and the trove of retrieved files that the anti-corruption agency hopes to use in building a case against the county boss.
By the time the convoy arrived at the EACC headquarters, Waititu’s daughter and several county officials were already writing statements of what they knew about the suspect procurement deals.
Two commissioners of the anti-graft body were heard remarking that it was rather unusual for the governor’s supporters not to be outside their offices protesting as he was being questioned.
EACC boss Twalib Mbarak later released a statement that laid out why Waititu and his alleged accomplices were being questioned.
“As part of ongoing investigations, search operations were conducted by EACC in the homes and offices of the Kiambu County Governor, his family members, directors of private companies and 10 senior employees of the county government,” Mr Mbarak wrote.
The CEO added that “valuable evidence” had been recovered during the searches.
Detectives who spoke to The Standard confirmed that the anti-graft agency had gotten search warrants from the anti-corruption court late Wednesday.
The agency, it emerged, has been conducting investigations for a period of time, following the money trail where contractors paid monies to senior county officials, their companies or relatives through proxies.
Mbarak said he hopes to charge the suspects, subject to findings from the interrogations, with fraudulent acquisition of public funds, conflict of interest and money laundering.
Waititu has in recent weeks denied any corruption allegations thrown his way by officials, including his own deputy, insisting instead that he is a billionaire who has made his money through honest hard work.