The High Court has frozen former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu's wealth worth at least Ksh1.9 billion, feared to be obtained through corruption while he served as an MP and a governor.
Among the properties frozen include seven motor vehicles and 18 properties in Waititu's name, his companies, relatives, or cronies.
"An order of injunction be and is hereby issued restraining the defendants and interested parties, their agents, servants and/or any other person from selling, transferring, charging, disposing, wasting, or in any other way alienating the following properties pending the hearing and determination of this application," the court ruled.
The wealth is owned in the name of his close family members and his companies including his wife Susan Wangari (928.9 million), Saika Two Estate Developers Limited (Ksh906.3 million), Bienvenue Delta Hotel (Ksh56.9 million) and Bins Management Services Limited (Ksh62.7 million).
The wealth, according to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), was acquired during Waititu's tenure as MP for Kabete Constituency between 2015 and 2017 and as Governor for the County Government of Kiambu between 2017 and 2020.
"The Governor engaged in schemes to embezzle public funds through fictitious and/or fraudulent procurement contracts. He concealed or otherwise disguised his private interest in tenders awarded to companies contracted to offer services to the County Government of Kiambu. The contractors, upon payment transferred proceeds of the fictitious/fraudulent procurement contracts to Mr Waititu, his wife (Susan Wangari) and their companies - Saika Two Estates Developers Limited, Bienvenue Delta Hotel and Bins Management Services Limited as kick-backs. The Governor further directly traded with the County through companies registered in the names of his wife, and their daughter - Suwanga Limited, Connex Logistics Africa Limited, and Modiba Management Services Limited," EACC said in a statement.
The properties are located in the upmarket suburbs of Runda, Migaa and Thindigua, and Nairobi Central Business District. Some of the assets are registered in the names of companies, namely Saika Two Estate Developers, Bienvenue Delta Hotel and Bins Management Services Limited.
Among the properties targeted include Jamii Bora Building worth Ksh200 million, Delta Hotel worth Ksh380 million, Biashara shopping Mall worth Ksh110 million, and Runda Grove worth over Ksh96 million among others.
"The case against Waititu is part of the EACC strategy to recover public funds and assets from a number of Governors who are suspected to have accumulated unexplained wealth amounting to billions of Kenya Shillings during their tenure. EACC is shocked by the gross magnitude of looting of public resources revealed by the investigations undertaken so far. The Commission has profiled most of the County Governors and notes that the majority of them have taken their tenure in office as an opportunity for self-enrichment," said EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak.
The EACC investigations culminating into the recovery suit against Waititu established that the former Governor has amassed wealth that is not commensurate to his known and legitimate sources of income, during the period he served as a State Officer.
EACC believes that Waititu abused his position of public trust for private gain by corruptly acquiring public funds through fictitious and/or fraudulent procurement contracts in the County Government of Kiambu.
He is accused of directly trading with the County Government through companies registered in the names of his wife, and their daughter.
The former Governor was impeached and removed from office for gross misconduct, abuse of office and gross violation of the Constitution before completing his tenure of office.
Waititu served as the MP for Kabete Constituency between 2015 and 2017 and as Governor for the County Government of Kiambu between 2017 and 2020.