Equity Bank seeks to join Ferdinand Waititu's case to recover Sh200 million loan

Delta Hotel, situated along University Way, former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is alleged to have bought the hotel at Sh7.2Million. [File, Standard]

A bank has claimed former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu owes it Sh200 million, which it wants to be recovered before a suit seeking to seize his assets is concluded.

Equity Bank, in the urgent application filed at the High Court, wants to be enjoined in the suit. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is seeking to recover assets worth Sh1.9 billion from Waititu so that they can also recover money loaned to the former governor.

“The bank loaned him Sh200 million which he has not finished to repay and should the suit be concluded and his assets forfeited to the state, the bank will also lose its money since the property he used as security is among those listed as unexplained assets,” said lawyer Benson Ngugi.

According to the bank, Waititu, through his company Saika Two Estate Developers Limited, applied for the loan to purchase Delta Hotel on University Way and used the property’s title as security.

Ngugi said the bank is still holding the title since Waititu has not repaid in full and that they will be prejudiced if they are not enjoined in the case. He added that the bank is likely to lose its money which continues to attract interest since the ex-governor is at risk of losing the properties.

“The bank has not been listed as party to the suit yet it has strong interest on account that they loaned Waititu Sh200 million which they also have legitimate expectation to recover,” said Ngugi.

Delta Hotel is among several properties totaling Sh1.9 billion which the EACC seeks to recover from Waititu, his wife Susan Wangari Ndung’u and their three companies Saika Two Estate Developers Limited, Bienvenue Delta Hotel and Bins Management Services Limited.

Other properties include Jamii Bora Bank building, Solar House in Nairobi Central Business District, a building on Biashara Street, a house in Runda Estate, seven vehicles and a tractor and several pieces of land in Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado counties.

EACC in its suit claimed that between January 2015 to July 2017 when Waititu served as Kabete MP and August 2017 to January 2020 as Kiambu governor, he amassed wealth to the tune of Sh1,937,709,376 which is not commensurate to his known legitimate sources of income.

The anti-graft body claims Waititu used his political position as MP and governor for private gain. “Waititu worked in consonance with county officials while serving as governor and engaged in schemes to embezzle public funds through fictitious and fraudulent procurement contracts after which he was paid huge kickbacks he used to buy the properties,” said the commission.

EACC listed Sh805 million in his accounts, land and houses in Runda, Lucky Summer, Migaa Estate, Embakasi Ranching, Kayole and Thindigwa all valued at Sh280 million and five vehicles.

His wife allegedly had Sh276 million cash in her accounts, four parcels of land in Kitengela and Kabete valued at Sh19 million while Saika Two Estate Developers Limited had landed properties registered under its name valued at Sh662 million and Sh164 million in the account.

Bienvenue Delta Hotel is said to have Sh68 million in its accounts while Bins Management Services Limited has Sh63 million.

According to the commission, Waititu’s legitimate income for the period he served as MP and governor amounted to Sh160 million comprising of salary (Sh29.5 million), rental income (Sh81 million) and bank loans totalling Sh44 million.

Justice Esther Maina had frozen the assets and the accounts pending determination of the suit. She directed that the suit by Equity Bank be heard on July 25.