EACC detectives arrest former governor, three official over abuse of office

By Nderitu Gichure and James Munyeki | Thursday, Jul 26th 2018 at 15:40
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Former Nyandarua Governor Daniel Waithaka. [Photo/Courtesy]

Former Nyandarua Governor Mwangi Waithaka was Thursday arrested after he surrendered at Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices in Nyeri.

Waithaka together with three other county government officials turned themselves at EACC regional offices a few minutes before midday where they were grilled for hours, over graft charges.

Others arrested include Grace Gitonga (then a county executive committee member for Water and Natural Resources), Kihiu Gichinga Gaiko, and Jesse Wachira.

The former county boss alongside seven senior officials are accused of failing to comply with the laws in procurement of two projects by the county government amounting to over Sh55 million.

The officers will be charged with abuse of office and flouting of procurement procedures

EACC regional director Charles Ragusu said they were looking for the remaining suspects among them John Ngigi Daniel, who failed to turn up at the anti-graft offices yesterday.

On Wednesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions( DPP) Noordin Haji ordered the arrest and prosecution of Waithaka and seven others and be charged with failure to comply with procurement laws.

Waithaka, had on Wednesday managed to dodge the anti-graft detective who had gone to arrest him in Nyahururu town.

“We suspect he took cover in one of his properties in town but we managed to summon him to appear in our offices yesterday,” a source said.

Waithaka and Gitonga according to a statement by Haji will be charged with willful failure to comply with the law relating to public procurement, contrary to section 45 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.

Top on the list of the projects under investigations, Rasugu said was the procurement of the design of of the county water master plan at a cost of Sh23 million.

Also under investigations is the procurement for the Ol Kalou sewerage system estimated to have costed Sh32 million.

The former governor also faces a charge of abuse of office, contrary to section 46 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

The DPP has furthur recommended the arrest and prosecution of owners of M/S Tahal Consulting Engineers Ltd, Chen Yochanan Ofer and Albert Attias for fraudulently acquiring public property.

Investigations into the matter have been going on since 2014.

Investigations,Haji noted had indicated that the former governor flouted procurement laws and regulations in awarding the contract to M/S Tahal Consulting Engineers Ltd in December 2014.

The company, which was to redesign the Ol kalou town sewerage system, was irregularly paid Sh50, 470,513.

Investigations revealed that during the financial year 2013/2014, Nyandarua County government neither had a procurement plan nor funds for the project.

It also emerged that at the time of the transaction, the company was not a lawful entity, which was in breach of Public Finance Management Act regulations.

The county government also did not seek the approval of the Public Partnership Committee before signing the contract on April 30, 2014.

Recently Nema recommended the rehabilitation of the water and sewerage treatment plant in Ol Kalou town.

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