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Court frees Waititu on Sh15 million cash bail, bars him from accessing office

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and his co-accused at the Milimani Court on July 29, 2019, where they were charged with fraud involving Sh588 million in roads tendering. [Collins Kweyu/Standard]

A court has granted Kiambu Governor Ferdinard Waititu a Sh15 million cash bail in a case involving a Sh588m tender scam.

The court has also barred him from accessing his office until the case is heard and determined.

He and his co-accused were ordered to surrender their travelling documents immediately to court. 

Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi also barred accused, who are employees of the county, from setting foot in Kiambu County offices, for the period of the case.

While reading the statement at Milimani Law court, the magistrate said, “the first accused, (Waititu) is charged with enriching himself at the expense of the people who he is expected to serve.”

He added:  “What message does he send to citizens if their leader has been charged with a serious offence and is in office the following day overseeing the affairs of the county?”

Governor Waititu and his wife Susan Wangari denied graft charges on Monday.

The governor and his wife Susan were arrested on Sunday after surrendering themselves to EACC detectives over allegations of tender irregularities for the upgrading of roads worth Sh588m and embezzlement of public funds.

The couple spent two nights in police custody.

Defence lawyer Tom Ojienda argued in court that Susan Waititu is localised, that her passport got lost hence she was not a flight risk.

The two are facing three charges of conflict of interest and two of dealing with suspect property.

The first conflict of interest charge is in respect to Sh25 million allegedly paid to firms associated with the governor, while the first charge on dealing with suspect property involves Sh18.4 million spent in the acquisition of Saika Two Estate Developers Ltd.

Also charged are five members of the Kiambu County tender committee who evaluated the contract in question. They are Zacharia Njenga Mbugua, Joyce Ngina Musyoka, Simon Kabocho Kang’ethe, Anselm Gachukia Wanjiku and Samuel Muigai Mugo. EACC officials said four others were still being sought as of Sunday and that they were expected to surrender.

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