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Why police raided former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru mansion

COUNTIES
By Cyrus Ombati | December 2nd 2015

Anti-graft detectives raided former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru‘s new home in Nairobi and ransacked the premises, including her handbags.

According to Ms Waiguru‘s lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives questioned Ms Waiguru about her wealth portfolio.

A source, who talked in confidence, said the detectives had a court order and a search warrant. The new move signals a shift from the earlier position where Waiguru was slated to be a witness in the Sh791 million theft at the National Youth Service, to possibly a suspect or person of interest to investigators.

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi talks to journalists at the home of former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru after a search by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission detectives yesterday. (PHOTO: DAVID GICHURU/ STANDARD)

Perception that EACC wasn’t treating Waiguru as its potential witness sprung from the fact that the raid at her home went on concurrently as detectives combed homes of senior ministry officials she supervised. 

They are former Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti, National Youth Service Director General Nelson Githinji, head of administration at the ministry Hassan Noor and Mr Githinji’s deputy Adan Harakhe. In all these homes, documents were carted away.

A detective who asked not to be named said they were conducting a lifestyle audit on those targeted as they had not closed their file in the Sh791 million fraud at NYS.

The officer revealed they had never declared Waiguru a witness in their probe.

“It is the lawyer who said she is a witness. We have not said so neither has the Director of Public Prosecutions declared so and the case already in court is from CID (Directorate of Criminal Investigations),” said the detective.

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EACC officers burst into Waiguru’s house in Kihingo, Kitsuru estate, ransacked the house and took documents believed to be crucial to the investigation into the loss of millions at NYS.

At Waiguru’s house, the detectives took away several documents including bank statements, house ownership records, some Cabinet memos and speeches she had delivered before.

Professional search

The officers left Waiguru’s house at 2pm. Waiguru was present during the search, which her lawyer described as professional.

Ahmednassir said the officers asked Waiguru about the house, which he explained cost her Sh100 million and for which he added, the former CS was still servicing a mortgage.

The detectives reportedly demanded records of what she owned before she joined the Government.

“We don’t know what they want. As far as I am concerned, she had recorded a witness statement in the NYS case they have been investigating unless they have changed their mind,” said Ahmednassir.

Asked whether he thought the officers may charge Waiguru with a criminal offence, Ahmednassir responded there were zero chances but added, “let us wait and see what they come up with.”

Ahmednassir said the officers were on a blind search and confirmed they searched all rooms in the house.

“They went to the kitchen, bedrooms, toilets, bathrooms, servant quarters and even searched her handbag. They were on a blind search and we don’t know exactly what they wanted,” he said.

He said the officers took away documents, which they explained they would analyse and return.

Ahmednassir added the officers even looked at the exercise books of Waiguru’s children and sought to know where they study.

As the search was being conducted at Waiguru’s home, other teams visited Githinji’s home on Riverside Lane off Riverside Drive in Nairobi and that of Mr Mangiti in Royal Park Estate, Lang’ata, as well as other officers’ homes.

The detectives moved to NYS headquarters where they reportedly picked more documents.

Both Mangiti and Githinji told the detectives they would co-operate.

Lawyer Dennis Mosota explained he accompanied businessman Ben Gethi to EACC headquarters where he recorded his statement with the officers.

“He told them all they wanted to know. All we know is that time will separate lies and truth. My client’s conscience is clear and if and when law is followed to the end, it will separate the innocent from the guilty,” he said.

Mangiti, Mr Gethi and Githinji have been prosecuted for allegedly trying to stop Mr Harakhe from reporting and following up with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in the matter relating to the conspiracy to steal another Sh695 million.

Charged in court

According to police, they also tried to intimidate Harakhe with “consequences” if he proceeded to de-commit the Ifmis (Integrated Financial Information Management System) payment of the Sh695 million.

The officials are among more than 20 people who have been charged in court over  graft at NYS. They have all denied the charges.

The agencies was investigating a Sh791 million fraud and Sh695 million attempted fraud.

Waiguru resigned two weeks ago following months of sustained pressure over corruption allegations in her ministry.

She cited “doctor’s advice” as the major reason for her abrupt departure from the ministry.

She said following sustained attacks by “mischievous” parties, her health had deteriorated with her doctor asking her to “take time off”.

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