Waititu slapped with new corruption charges

Ferdinard Waititu

Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinard Waititu at the Milimani law Courts Nairobi on March 2, 2021.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu has been slapped with new corruption charges that raise the amount of public funds allegedly stolen to over Sh600 million.

Mr Waititu faces two new counts of authorising illegal payments and dealing with suspect property.

Prosecutors say he approved a payment of Sh6 million in county government money to Lake Naivasha Resort Ltd. The company had sold Bien Venue Hotel to him.

He is also said to have acquired an indirect private interest of Sh25.6 million from payments made to a county government’s contractor identified as Testimony Enterprises Ltd.

He was charged alongside his wife Susan Ndung’u and his trading company Saika Two Estate Ltd. They denied the charges.

Prosecutors allege that between October 2018 and January 2019 the couple jointly received money from Testimony Enterprises while aware that it was acquired from Kiambu County by corrupt means.

Testimony Enterprises had been awarded a tender to upgrade various gravel roads in Limuru, Gatundu North, Thika, Juja and Ruiru sub-counties for Sh588 million.

The firm’s directors - Charles Chege and Beth Wangeci - are also defendants in the case.

Mr Waititu is alleged to have pocketed millions in kickbacks for contracts awarded by the county government.

He faces multiple charges including conflict of interest, dealing with suspect property, abuse of office, wilful failure to comply with procurement laws, engaging in fraudulent practices, fraudulent acquisition of public property and money laundering

Two witnesses - Dr Justus Bundi, director of supply chain management, and Faith Njeri, county chief finance officer – have testified so far, both on the issuing of the tenders.

In awarding the roads tender, the court heard, procurement staff ignored the professional opinion of the head of supply chain.

“The procurement bid documents submitted by Testimony Enterprises were forgeries. Waititu was the governor at the time the tender was awarded and he had an interest in the said tender,” the court heard.

Hearings will resume on March 14, 2022 and the trial is scheduled to take 32 days.


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