The anti-graft agency has told a court how Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, his wife and their daughter might have pocketed millions in kickbacks for contracts awarded by the government.
In an affidavit before a Kiambu court, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) accuses the governor of receiving kickbacks through his bank accounts and accounts of companies associated with him, his wife Susan Wangari Ndung’u and their daughter Monica Njeri.
The affidavit by EACC investigator Regina Ng’ang’a details how two companies the commission said are owned by the three, received up to Sh30.6 million from a firm awarded a tender to construct roads late last year and early this year.
EACC said Testimony Enterprises Limited, which had been “irregularly” paid a substantial amount "without producing certificates required to show the work done", received Sh180 million between April last year and last April.
Investigations showed that the company’s account was opened on March 27, last year by its managing director Charles Chege and Beth Wangechi Mburu, being the directors.
Between July and October last year, Testimony Enterprises Ltd paid Sh25.4 million to Saika Two Estate Developers Limited, which is owned by Waititu and his daughter, according to EACC.
Between October 2018 and January 2019, Testimony Enterprise Limited paid, from its bank account Sh5.2 million to Bienvenue Delta Hotel that is owned by Waititu and his wife, EACC said.
The commission said this emerged during an analysis of statements received from an Equity Bank account held by Testimony Enterprises Limited. It showed numerous transactions on various dates.
The investigator told court their inquiries from Registrar of Companies revealed Waititu and his daughter are the directors of Saika Two Estate Developers Limited.
EACC also said according to the Registrar of Companies, Waititu and his wife are the directors of Bienvenue Delta Hotel.
“An analysis of evidence reveals the governor received kickbacks through his bank accounts and accounts of companies associated with him and his family members for contracts awarded by the county government,” reads the affidavit.
Testimony Enterprise Limited was awarded a tender to construct eight roads on March 8, last year at a cost of Sh588 million.
Mr Chege, on March 9,2018, accepted the tender.
The detective indicted that the company had so far been irregularly paid a substantial amount of money. “The money paid was thereafter transferred to accounts of company directors and later to the account of the governor, his wife, daughter and companies associated with the county chief,” Ms Ng’ang’a said.
EACC said money paid to Testimony Enterprise Ltd was transferred either directly or indirectly to the top county officials, their companies or relatives. “This therefore points to use of proxies for personal gain,” read the affidavit.
Ng’ang’a told the court that on May 23, 2019, EACC executed search warrants where crucial documents were seized.
EACC says it is based on this background that it is opposed to granting anticipatory bail to Waititu and Chief Finance Officer Faith Njeri Harrison.
In the case, Waititu and Ms Harrison are named as applicants, while the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of Criminal Investigations, Inspector General of Police, EACC and Banking Fraud Unit are named as respondents.
Last week, Kiambu Principal Magistrate Brian Khaemba granted the two a Sh500,000 bail each.
Before the anticipatory bail was given, the governor had been arrested over corruption allegations.
A statement by EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak said the commission was investigating Waititu for the irregular award of tenders valued at Sh588 million to companies associated with him and his immediate family.
Mbarak said investigations showed contractors paid money to senior county officials, their companies or relatives through proxies.
He said investigations would also cover the fraudulent acquisition of public funds, conflict of interest and money laundering.
Waititu has denied any wrongdoing and blamed his woes on political rivals.
Ng’ang’a told court the money was irregularly paid to contractors and county officials in the 2017/2018 financial year.
She informed court that the commission started investigations and obtained documents relating to the probe from the county government.
An analysis of the documents revealed a Cabinet paper dated January 24, 2018 on the proposed improvement of County Gravel Roads to bituminous standard using soil stabilisation technology.
The investigator said the purpose of the Cabinet paper was to seek approval and allocation of budget for improvement of 21.35 kilometres.
The roads included a two kilometres Kimuchu-Corner 3 to Muthaiga road in Thika, one-kilometre Full Gospel-Githunguri Primary School road in Ruiru and the 3.7-kilometre Rainbow Hotel Eastern Bypass Road in Ruiru.
There is also 2.6-kilometre Kahawa Wendani Nakumatt Supermarket to Kwan Ng’ethe road in Ruiru, the two kilometer Thika highway-Maraba junction and Witeithie town road in Juja, and Igegania health centre-Igegania Primary road measuring 1.05km in Gatundu North.
Others are four-kilometre Kamirithu-Ngenia and Ngarariga shopping Centre Bibirioni Primary School road in Limuru, the two-kilometre Gathanja-Muchatha road in Kiambaa and the two-kilometre Karura Ka Nyungu road in Kabete.
The affidavit shows the cost of constructing the roads was estimated at Sh600 million.