The Anti-Corruption Court has dealt a big blow to Kiambu County Governor Ferdinand Waititu after barring him from office for duration of trial in the Sh588 million irregular tender case.
The court also barred his co-accused, who work for the county government, from setting foot in the Kiambu County offices.
In addition, Mr Waititu and his co-accused have been ordered to deposit their travel documents with the court.
But the governor has been ordered freed on Sh15 million cash bail. Mr Waititu’s co-accused have been freed on varying bond terms.
In his ruling, Nairobi Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi concurred with the precedent set by Justice Mumbi Ngugi, who ruled that county bosses charged with economic crimes be barred from their offices until their cases are heard and determined.
“I concur with the remarks of Justice Mumbi Ngugi when she rhetorically questioned ‘how effective is the prosecution of such state officers be when their subordinates who are likely to be witnesses are under the direct control of indicted officers?'” said Mr Mugambi.
Tuesday’s ruling means that Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro, with whom the Mr Waititu has had a falling-out, will run the affairs of the county.
Mr Waititu and his wife spend two nights in police cells after they surrendered on Sunday.
After the ruling, the governor said he intends to file for a review at the High Court challenging Mr Mugambi’s order barring him from accessing his office.
The case will be mentioned on August 26, 2019.
Additional reporting by Nancy Gitonga.