Residents put Governor Waititu on notice over corruption

 Beleaguered: Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. David Njaaga/Standard]

Some residents of Kiambu said they will stage a citizens’ arrest of Kiambu Governor Ferdinard Waititu over the outrageous expenditure of more than Sh2 billion unearthed by the Auditor General if the government fails to take action against him.

Protesting in Thika Town on Friday, residents said the law allows public arrests and that they will apprehend the governor should the relevant authorities fail to arrest him.

“It’s absurd that the Governor, who is supposed to protect and fight for the interests of Kiambu people, is the one overseeing such shocking payments. The money should have been spent on development. We want him behind bars and if the mandated authorities fail to arrest him, we will arrest him,” shouted an agitated resident.

Kiambu leaders have also called for the immediate prosecution of the governor and senior county officials.

Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina called on the government to act immediately and arrest county officials, including the governor.

“The evidence is clear for them to see. What are they waiting for,” said MP Wainaina as he listed the buildings Waititu is alleged to have bought in Nairobi in the past one year.

Former Governor William Kabogo also called for the immediate prosecution of Waititu saying the wealth he has acquired over the last few months is questionable.

Deputy Governor James Nyoro has also claimed that county money was being misused especially the revenue collections from across the county including levies from quarries and slaughterhouses as well as parking fees.

“All this money collected daily totalling between Sh6 million to Sh10 million does not reach the county. The money is being misused instead of being spent to benefit Kiambu residents,” Nyoro said at a recent function.

In Thika town, protestors said that they were tired of Waititu’s administration saying that embezzlement and misappropriation of resources have been rampant.

They cited the case of misplaced priorities involving huge payments made to projects with less impact on the residents, like the Kaa Sober Programme, a Waititu brainchild, that has gobbled up over Sh1 billion through direct payments to recovering alcoholics.

“We know this project is meant to siphon money from the county coffers. The youth the governor claims are drunkards were actually campaigners for MCAs and the governor himself. It is wrong for the governor to spend such an amount of money on a few people instead of putting up facilities like a hospital,” said resident Simon Njenga.

“Just look at the buildings the governor has purchased in Nairobi and Kiambu counties in less than one year. Where did he get all that money? We won’t remain silent again while funds meant to bring development to us are being misplaced or end up in a few people’s pockets,” another protestor said.

The bizarre payments revealed by the Senate have shocked Kenyans. In total, Sh2.1 billion may have been lost as the official county document presented before the Moses Kajwang’-led senatorial Public Accounts committee revealed that the Kiambu County Government allocated Sh973.9 million for coordination of State House Affairs, a national government function.

It also showed that the Waititu government spent Sh793 million on Free Primary Education and Sh591 million on State Corporation Advisory Services both of which are national government functions.

It also revealed that the county Government spent Sh58 million on the Kenya-South Sudan Advisory Services while administration of statutory benefits for retired presidents gobbled up Sh180 million.

The weird payments have baffled locals who have called on relevant authorities including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji and the George Kinoti-led Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to arrest and prosecute Waititu for misappropriation of county funds.