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EACC grills Anne Waiguru over Sh52m land bill

NATIONAL
By Allan Mungai and David Njaaga | September 10th 2021

 

Kirinyanga Governor Anne Waiguru leaves the EACC after being questioned on suspicious pending bills. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru was yesterday questioned by the anti-graft agency over a Sh52 million pending bill in her county that she approved for payment.

The county boss, who has since linked her legal woes to politics following her decision to reconsider running on a Jubilee Party ticket in 2022, was grilled by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over the payment for a piece of land in South Ngariama.

The EACC summons came days after Waiguru accused the State agency of conducting a witch-hunt due to her anticipated change of political persuasion on her preferred presidential candidate in the next General Election.

But the governor emerged from the commission’s offices claiming she was innocent.

“This is pure politics. It is because I hinted that I am reconsidering my position and it is very unfortunate. That was what spurred it because why would you call to ask about a decision that was made by the county assembly?” she said.

The EACC is investigating an alleged payment of Sh52 million that was allocated by the County Assembly to settle a pending bill from the sub-division, allocation, and cadastral mapping of 17,000 acres in South Ngariama Settlement Scheme in 2010.

The governor appeared before the anti-graft agency at 11am to shed light on the matter.

After the end of the grilling session that took three hours, Waiguru said the summons were “motivated by political enemies out to tarnish her name.”

“There has been speculation that we are leaning towards Raila Odinga. That is not true. In fact, what we are doing is consultations so that whoever we think will articulate our issues is the one we will back,” the governor said.

Waiguru said the tendering process was done way before her time at the county assembly and was puzzled why she was being grilled about it.

“We were summoned for a proposed payment of a pending bill that was incurred in the defunct local authority. This pending bill was for the issuance of titles for South Ngariama and they (EACC) are alleging that we should not have deliberated on the issuance of the titles in the cabinet,” she said.

Waiguru said the County Assembly was petitioned to resolve the matter before allocating a budget and sending it to the county executive.

“We deliberated on the matter and agreed that it was best we give titles and therefore should settle the bill so that we are given the cadastral maps and list of allottees for the 17,000 acres,” she stated.

Waiguru recently took to social media where she raised concerns over the timing of the investigation. She questioned why the summons had not been issued when her political stand was not in doubt.

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