No freedom yet for Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu

Thursday, August 1st, 2019 00:00 |
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. Photo/CHARLES MATHAI

Nancy Gitonga @PeopleDailyKe

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s woes continued to pile yesterday after the court ruled that he should be confined to Industrial Area Remand Prison until tomorrow.

The court will hear and determine his appeal for bail review tomorrow morning.

Yesterday, Justice John Onyiego of the Anti-Corruption court  directed Waititu’s lawyers led by Tom Ojienda to appear before him  to argue out  their appeal for a  bail review.

This came as some Members of the Kiambu County Assembly threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against the governor in 30 days.

The MCA for Biashara Ward, Elijah Njoroge asked Waititu to do Kiambu electorate a favour and resign.

“He should go a step further and refund everything he is  accused of acquiring illegally,” he said, adding that preparations for an impeachment motion against Waititu is underway.

“I am preparing an impeachment motion that is 70 per cent complete and set to be tabled in the next two weeks to kick Waititu out of Kiambu,” Njoroge said.

Empower deputy

The MCA said the move seeks to  empower his deputy James Nyoro, who  is now in charge of the county in the absence of the governor.

“Despite the deputy governor taking over, he is limited by the law and as such, cannot make some decisions thus blocking the county development,” Njoroge said.

The governor on Tuesday evening wrote a letter to the Deputy Registrar of the Anti-Corruption High Court seeking to have his trial file placed before the duty judge following his application seeking to review the  Sh15 million cash bail.

Waititu is seeking a review of the orders issued by Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi on Tuesday. 

“The bail  terms issued are excessive and amount to a constructive denial of bail and bond without compelling reasons,”  Ojienda said.

He said  his client is particularly aggrieved by the terms set by the trial court that he should not access the Kiambu county offices.

Brred from office

Mugambi made the ruling barring Waititu from office citing a precedent set by Justice Mumbi Ngugi.

He said barring Waititu from going back to the office does not violate the Constitution or amount to his removal but is intended to ensure the integrity and credibility of the trial and safeguard the public interest.

Hours after the directions by Justice Onyiego on Waititu bail review, his wife Susan Wangari was released after paying Sh4 million cash bail and depositing her diplomatic passport with the court as directed by the trial court.

Wangari spent  Tuesday night at Langata Women’s Prison after she was unable to meet conditions of the bond  that required her to deposit  her passport.

Others charged

Also charged alongside Waititu and his wife are Luka Mwangi, Charles Chege, Beth Wangechi, Zacharia Njenga, Joyce Ngina, Simon Kabocho, Anselem Gachukiaand Samuel Muigai.

Speaking to People Daily yesterday about the implications of the court decision on Waititu, a Nairobi lawyer Dunstan Omari said the order by the magistrate does not amount to either suspending or removing the governor from office.

“Does being barred from accessing office mean suspension?  There is no provision for suspension of a governor. Being barred from office as it reads is physically being stopped from going to a physical building from  his Kiambu county offices,” he said.

Omari said according to the interpretation of the law, Waititu still remains the governor and will continue transacting county businesses from any other place other than the Kiambu county offices.

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