Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu in a past function
A Nairobi court has barred troubled Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu from accessing his county offices pending the determination of a graft case against him.
Justice Ngenye Macharia ruled that Waititu’s bail review application lacked merit and ordered the Kiambu governor to pick his personal belongings from the county offices within 24 hours accompanied by a detective from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Allowing Waititu to access office would be absurd and a mockery to the constitution,” the judge said in his ruling.
However, Watitu’s defence lawyer Prof Tom Ojienda indicated that the governor was considering appealing the decision.
Waititu was released on a Ksh.15 million cash bail and barred from accessing his office until the case is heard and determined.
The governor however in a show of defiance at the weekend stated that he will operate the affairs of his county at the Sub County Level.
Last Saturday, Waititu inspected county projects in Limuru and Kabete, a move interpreted by observers as contempt of court.
Speaking on Sunday at Victor’s Assembly Church in Kikuyu, Waititu said he was only barred from accessing his office in Kiambu town.
This comes as Waititu’s deputy James Nyoro announced that he is in charge of operations at the county.
The deputy governor, who has been at loggerheads with the Governor, said he had taken over the running of county activities and would remain in power until the court rules otherwise in the case against Waititu.
“We are in office for as long as the governor is away. If there is going to be an appeal or a ruling on his case… We will be ready to vacate the seat and leave it to the governor if the court so dictates,” said Dr. Nyoro.
The council of governors has weighed on the issue and is now seeking a constitutional interpretation of whether governors are part of public officers who should step aside when charged in court.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered that accounts belonging to two companies involved in the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal be frozen for 180 days to allow police conclude investigations.
Resident Magistrate Caroline Nzibe issued the orders allowing accounts of Stanlib Wealth Amannah Properties Limited and Azepco General Trading Company which have accounts at Standard Chartered Bank to be frozen and allowed investigating officer to probe them after learning they wanted to withdraw 734.5 million shillings at SCB Sarit Centre.
In the case former CS Henry Rotich, his then Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and 26 others were charged in the 63 billion shillings money meant for the construction of the Arror and Kimwarer Multi-purpose Dams.
SOURCE: MKARIMU MEDIA AND NEWS AGENCIES