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Changing fortunes: Ferdinad Waititu, Humphrey Kariuki land public jobs in Ruto administration

, Former Kiambu Governor  Ferdinand Waititu. [David Njaaga, Standard]

There is a fresh wave of freedom for a select group of people who may have had a difficult time with the government prior to the August 9 General Election.

Last Friday, when President William Ruto appointed a tribunal to determine the fate of four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners, the highest honour went to Appeals Court judge Aggrey Muchelule who will chair it.

His tribunal will inquire into the conduct of Juliana Cherera, Irene Masit, and Francis Wanderi - who disputed President William Ruto’s victory in the August polls this year. Justus Nyang’aya opted to resign.

Muchelule had not only to wait for over three years to be appointed to be Judge of appeal Court but had go through a nasty experience after his chambers were raided by police. He was later accused of corruption. 

High Court Judge Jairus Ngaah granted Muchelule orders that barred DCI from pursuing Muchelule observing, “In the second respondent’s inventory, nothing was found at the applicant’s office. The applicant has made a case for an order of prohibition. This is allowed with no orders as to cost.”

Tax evasion charges

Businessman Humphrey Kariuki, who had been facing Sh17 billion-shilling tax evasion charges which were quashed by the High Court in May 23, was also appointed as one of the 12 members of the National Investment Council for three years. 

Mr Kariuki joins KCB Group Chief Executive Officer Paul Russo, Ahmed Farah, Karen Taylor, Sarah Ochieng, Eva Warigia, Shaila Kyarisiima, David Langat, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Tom Mulwa, Peter Njonjo, and Francis Njogu in the Council through a gazette notice dated December 1, 2022.

The President also appointed Ferdinand Waititu, the former Kiambu governor who was impeached and arrested on graft charges, to the Nairobi Rivers Commission.

Former Governor Waititu is remembered for asking Kenyans to move rivers from areas where private developers had appropriated riparian lands.

“Mimi si-suport ubomoaji wa nyumba. Mambo iangaliwe kama nyumba yako iko karibu na mto uambiwe ni gharama yako kusongesha mto (People who own the houses where a river passes should move the river,” Waititu said.

Waititu is facing graft charges for irregularly awarding a Sh588 million road tender.

The Ethics and Anti-corruption commission (EACC) had also filed another case requiring Waititu to forfeit Sh1.94 billion in unexplained wealth to the state.

Later arrested

Another beneficiary is businesswoman Mary Wambui Mungai, who backed the Jubilee administration and was later arrested on an Sh2.2 billion tax evasion charge. She was also accused of unlawful possession of a firearm.

“The offence for which my client has been brought to court is a misdemeanour, and it is preposterous that she had to spend the night in a cell,” her lawyer Nelson Havi told the court.

The state arrested Mungai and her daughter Purity Njoki and charged them with tax evasion under their company Purma Holdings Ltd.

“There is no such sum of Sh2,535,410,527 or any part thereof held by the four respondent bank herein on behalf of the 1st and 3rd interest parties, and myself in the eight accounts listed in the notice of motion dated December 17, 2021, as misrepresented by the applicant,” she said in an affidavit. 

Wambui was appointed as the new chairperson of the Board of Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) for the next three years, effective from, Friday, December 2.