Kiambu Assembly unite to impeach governor Waititu

Friday, December 20th, 2019 00:00 |
Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. Photo/PD/FILE

Beleaguered Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was yesterday impeached by the County Assembly.

The motion to eject the governor, who was accused of among other things, using his position to siphon money from the county through irregular tenders and exaggerated bills, was unanimous with 63 out of the 92 MCAs voting in favour. 

During the session presided over by Speaker Stephen Ndicho, of the 64 MCAs who were present, only one voted in favour of the governor in the motion that was sponsored by Ndenderu ward representative Solomon Kinuthia. 

Some 28, who are all Waititu allies boycotted the vote, which was briefly interrupted after Kiambu Town Ward Rep Anthony Ikonya claimed the exercise was being rigged.

Leader of Majority Gideon Gachara, who was among those supporting Waititu’s ouster, said the House decision was the best for the county which has been “grappling with lack of development because of alleged incompetence and corrupt leadership”.

“We promised the people of Kiambu an early Christmas and we have done just exactly that. Kiambu needs a leadership that will bring development,” he said.

Waititu and his wife Susan Wangari, alongside others, have been charged with Sh588 million theft. They were all freed on bond, but the governor was barred by the court from accessing his office.

The governor became the first casualty of a ruling that was made on July 24, by Justice Mumbi Ngugi ordering county chiefs charged with economic crimes to vacate office for the duration of their trial.  

His deputy James Nyoro took over in acting capacity.

In one of the grievances highlighted in the motion, Waititu was accused of awarding Sh2.1 billion road tarmacking tenders and a Sh1.4 billion one for utilities in the 2017/18 financial year to facilitate personal gains. 

“The purpose of the irregular awards was not to provide public roads but to enable the governor obtain personal benefit through kickbacks,” reads the impeachment motion in part.

Obtain benefit

The Ndenderu MCA said due to lack of accountability in the management of county resources, the governor has plunged the devolved unit into unsustainable debts amounting to Sh4 billion. 

“These obligations were never disclosed in the County Fiscal Strategy Paper 2019 thus violating Articles 201 (e) of the Constitution 2010 and Section 107  (2) (e) of the Public Finance Management Act 2012,”  the motion added.  

Waititu is also on the spot for allegedly overseeing incurring of a wage bill above the set threshold of 35 per cent; the wages and benefits in the 2017/18 budget were allegedly at Sh5.9 billion while revenue collected during the period was Sh12.5 billion, reflecting 47 per cent.

The MCAs claimed he usurped the powers of the County Public Service Board to regulate employment and accused the governor of  undermining the County Assembly’s legislation, oversight and presentation roles through systematic non-remittance of requisitioned funds.

Further, a recent ruling by Commission on Administrative Justice to reinstate titles deeds, which Waititu fraudulently acquired as a condition for approving building plans, was listed among the grounds for his removal under “crimes under the national law”

The final straw on Waititu now lies with the Senate.

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