FRESH CHARGES INTRODUCED IN THE OVER HALF A BILLION CORRUPTION CASE FACING FORMER KIAMBU GOVERNOR WAITITU

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Former Kiambu County Governor Ferdinand Waititu will be charged afresh over the Kshs.588 million corruption case facing him, his wife and nine co-accused.

The anti-corruption Court ordered that the former Kiambu be charged afresh after the prosecution successfully moved the court to allow its application which sought to add more charges and introduce new evidence in the graft case against him.

The anti-corruption Court ordered that the former Kiambu be charged afresh after the Director of Public Prosecutions successfully moved the court to allow its application which sought to add more charges and introduce new evidence in the graft case against him.

The Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Thomas also allowed an application to recall the first witness who had already testified in the case to be cross-examined again after the accused plead to the new charges. All the accused are expected to take plea to the fresh charges on November 16.

The DPP amended the charges to introduce a new charge of dealing in stolen public property against the former Governor. The former Governor, together with his wife Susan, former County Chief Officer for Roads Luka Mwangi, six county employees, businessman Charles Chege and his wife Beth Wangeci were charged with is accused of conflict of interest, and money laundering over the irregular award of Kshs.588 million road constructions contracts in Kiambu County during his term in office.

Waititu and his wife are accused of receiving a benefit of Kshs.51 million in form of kickbacks from contractors through their companies, Saika Two Estate Developers Ltd and Benvenue Delta Hotel, while knowing that they were proceeds of crime. To conceal the source of funds, the couple allegedly used Kshs.6 million from the proceeds to purchase Delta Hotel. They are faced with various offences among them engaging in a conflict of interest, and dealing with suspect proper and money laundering.

The anti-graft agency Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) conducted investigations on the allegations of graft against the former Kiambu Governor and unraveled an intricate corruption web weaved to defraud the County Government of Kiambu by the Governor using his crony Chege and his wife, through which their company Testimony Enterprises, was awarded a tender for construction of roads. The bid was approved by the tender committee without subjecting it to scrutiny, causing them to be charged with willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement.

According to the charges, the committee illegally introduced a new criteria for evaluating the tender in order to favour Testimony Enterprises. The County Roads Chief is also accused of approving the contract to confer a benefit of Kshs. 588,198,328 to Testimony Enterprises, a company which did not have the capacity. The company owners are accused of forging degree certificates. It fraudulently received Kshs. 147.2 million from the County government and channeled a portion of the proceeds to Waititu and his wife through their companies Saika Two Estates Ltd and Benvenue Delta Hotel.

The case facing the former Governor is a reflection of many other incidents of grand corruption, and wilful failure to comply with government procurement laws by official’s intent on enriching themselves illegally from public funds.

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