The spectacle surrounding the arrest of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is unnecessary, Chair of the Council of Governors Wycliffe Oparanya has said.
Speaking in Mombasa on Thursday afternoon, moments after Governor Waititu was whisked from his Runda home and taken to EACC headquarters, Oparanya called on law enforcement agencies to respect county bosses and accord them decent treatment even as they move to tame corruption.
“A governor can be summoned (by the DCI) and he (or she) will appear; we are elected by the people of Kenya, and cannot, therefore, run away or snub summonses. Where will we go?
“The manner in which EACC is operating should be civil. The drama that we are witnessing is unnecessary,” he said.
Oparanya, nevertheless, called on governors to uphold integrity in their handling of county resources to avoid colliding with anti-graft agencies.
“We (as CoG) do not condone corruption. Governors should ensure prudent utilisation of county funds and make sure financial statements are corruption-free.”
The detectives, had on Thursday morning, raided Waititu’s homes in Runda, Garden Estate and Kiambu town with those at his Runda home, where he was, interrogating him from 6am until minutes past midday when he was taken to EACC Headquarters for further questioning.
The Kiambu boss, popularly known as Baba Yao, is on the spot over allegation of theft of county funds and flaunting of the Public Finance Management Act.
The Kiambu Governor is also accused of launching dubious projects like the Kaa Soba Programme that is said to have no value for money.
The programme, which currently has a membership of 5,060 alcoholics and costs the county Ksh200,000 a day, is supposedly aimed at transforming alcoholics into resourceful members of the society.
It is alleged that the former Kabete MP has amassed great wealth since being elected governor and now owns, among others, several parcels of land and buildings in Nairobi CBD, allegations that he has vehemently denied.
In his defence, Governor Waititu has linked his wealth to his many years in the politics, noting that he can account for everything he owns. He has claimed, severally, that he is being unfairly targetted in the fight against corruption because of his studious support for Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
Prior to being elected Governor, the 57-year-old father of two has served as the MP for Kabete, MP for Embakasi and Assistant Minister for Water Deputy Mayor of the defunct Nairobi City Council and a Councillor.
He defeated William Kabogo in the 2017 elections to be elected Kiambu Governor on a Jubilee ticket.
Waititu is only the third sitting governor to be arrested over corruption allegations with others being Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal and his Migori counterpart Okoth Obado.