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Ruto top aide Keittany grilled over Sh100m to impeach CS Anne Waiguru

By Cyrus Ombati | Apr 14th 2015 | 4 min read

Nairobi, Kenya: Deputy President William Ruto’s suspended Chief of Staff Marianne Keittany was questioned for almost seven hours over claims she funneled Sh100 million into a campaign to impeach Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru using Members of Parliament. 

Keittany, the highest ranking civil servant in the DP’s office, was also accused of abuse of office and misappropriation of a further Sh100 million, according to an Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) dossier that President Uhuru Kenyatta submitted to Parliament last month.

The corruption claims have implicated top officials, including Cabinet secretaries and Principal secretaries, to leave office for 60 days to pave way for investigations in one of the most far-reaching purges the country has witnessed.

By virtue of the position, the Chief of Staff plays a key role in the implementation of key decisions in the office, management of the DP’s diary including who he meets, and is often perceived to be shadow of the big man.

Yesterday, Kitany arrived at the EACC offices at Nairobi’s Integrity Centre at about 9a.m. and left after 4p.m. after declining to talk to journalists.

She smiled as she walked to her car flanked by her two lawyers who also refused to address the waiting journalists who shot questions at her.

At one point Ms Kitany, a former ICT manager at Kenya Railways, seemed to want to talk but one of her lawyers ushered her into the car.

The EACC report alleges Kitany “diverted Sh100 million from the Legislative and Inter-Governmental Relations Office to mobilise MPs in the abortive campaign in July 2014 to impeach powerful Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.”

According to the list released by the President, Kitany was “accused of abuse of office and misappropriation of Sh200 million”.

Yesterday, EACC officials said she was asked to explain her relationship with Waiguru, among other matters.

The impeachment motion, sponsored by Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, which had caused anxiety in the ruling Jubilee coalition, was dropped after the President reportedly personally intervened in the matter.

Linturi outraged his colleagues after he failed to turn up in the House to give notice of the motion, which saw it thrown out on a technicality. He has however denied receiving money to induce him to kill the motion.

Bribery allegations

When EACC’s allegations of bribery over the Motion came to light, Linturi said the perception that  he was among those who pocketed the cash had prompted him to explain the circumstances under which he dropped the motion.

He told the National Assembly that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s aide Jomo Gecaga and Solicitor General Njee Muturi pushed him to drop the motion at several meetings in Nairobi.

The MP said Waiguru’s removal bid was hatched by majority leaders Aden Duale (National Assembly) and Kindiki Kithure (Senate) in the office of Majority Whip Katoo ole Metito. Duale is one of the senior-most members of Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP), which is a partner of The National Alliance, to which Kindiki and Metito belong.

Mr Linturi alleged that Waiguru sent MPs Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes) and Kareke Mbiuki (Maara) to cajole him to drop the motion.

“I spoke to Waiguru twice on the phone, but I told her that I would not drop the motion,” Linturi told the House.

He also spoke of another meeting at which MPs Mwiti Irea (Central Imenti), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town) and Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu) were present when the President’s men allegedly forced him to sign a document withdrawing the motion. The letter was delivered to the office of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi at night.

“I am willing to appear at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to shed light on this matter,” said the MP who had landed in trouble over Meru County’s supremacy wars that saw him stripped of his position as the region’s Parliamentary Group (PG) Chairman.

Yesterday, the EACC also questioned former chief registrar of the judiciary Gladys Shollei over alleged improprieties during her tenure.

A multi-agency task force comprising officials from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations as well as EACC are handling investigations involving about 175 individuals named in the EACC report.

Among those interrogated are Cabinet Secretaries Davis Chirchir (Energy), Michael Kamau (Transport), Kazungu Kambi (Labour) and Charity Ngilu (Lands). They have all stepped aside.

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