Fresh trouble for Waititu:How the governor facilitated Ksh. 100 million land grabbed from a widow

File image of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu in court. PHOTO| COURTESY

Toubled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu could face new charges over the illegal acquisition and transfer of land worth Ksh.100 million belonging to Cecilia Mbugua, a widow, in January 2018.

The Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) on Thursday revealed that two properties-Thika Municipality/BlockXI/877 and Thika Municipality/BlockXI/878 – belonging to Ms Mbugua, were transferred to Ms Esther Nyatu, in a process facilitated by the office of the governor and the governor himself.

CAJ Chairperson Florence Kajuju handed over the title deeds to Ms Mbugua on Thursday.

On the 5th march this year, the commission received a complaint alleging that officials from the Kiambu County Government had irregularly transferred ownership of two plots in Thika municipality registered under Mrs. Mbugua to Ms. Esther Nyatu Wamuyu.

The properties are part of a block of five properties owned by Mbugua, all having a lease of 99 years starting in the year 2011.

The commissions investigators visited Kiambu and Thika land offices to interview officials and get documents relevant to the matter.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was also interviewed and he allegedly admitted requesting Mrs. Mbugua to surrender the two plots before he could facilitate approval of the development plans for the remaining three plots.

The widow had applied to develop the properties in 2013 and was granted a permit to carry on planned construction works.

Later, it was cancelled on allegations that the land belonged to the Juakali Association. Mbugua challenged the decision in court, which ruled in her favour.

In late December 2017, Mbugua said she received a call from the governor’s office in which she was guaranteed the development approvals only for the land to be transferred to Esther Nyatu on the 2nd of January 2018 on purpoted consideration of sale.

Upon realizing the irregularity in the transfer of the plots, the governor agreed to surrender back the two plots to the widow.

“Consequently, we hereby direct the Kiambu County Government to expedite the long overdue approval of the development plans to enable Mrs. Mbugua to embark on her projects,” said Ms Kajuju adding

“We will hand over our report to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. We are not allowed to prosecute. We follow our investigations and if we find a criminal element then we forward the same to the relevant offices.”

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