Economy

Firm owners in Waititu bribery trial lose petition

Ferdinand Waititu

Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • The High Court has dismissed a petition by directors of a company facing charges over irregular tenders of Sh588 million and the payment of kickbacks to former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and his family.
  • Justice James Wakiaga dismissed the case by Testimony Enterprises, saying allegations of breach of their rights, for allegedly not being allowed to give their side of the story before they were charged, will be part of the defence in the trial.
  • The firm, which has been charged together with Mr Waititu, wanted the charges dropped.

The High Court has dismissed a petition by directors of a company facing charges over irregular tenders of Sh588 million and the payment of kickbacks to former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and his family.

Justice James Wakiaga dismissed the case by Testimony Enterprises, saying allegations of breach of their rights, for allegedly not being allowed to give their side of the story before they were charged, will be part of the defence in the trial.

The firm, which has been charged together with Mr Waititu, wanted the charges dropped.

The firm is accused of receiving inflated tenders from Kiambu County.

The anti-graft agency says it wired millions of shillings to companies associated with Mr Waititu and his wife days after receiving cash from the devolved government.

“From the material placed before me, I am unable to find that the third respondent (Director of Public Prosecutions) violated or acted outside the scope of his mandate and, therefore, the petitioner’s contention is of no merit,” said the judge.

Charles Chege and Beth Wangeci, Testimony Enterprises directors, have been charged with three counts of money laundering, fraudulent acquisition of public property and engaging in a fraudulent practice in procurement.

But they said their arrest and charges contravened their rights and were discriminatory because key players in the tender evaluation committee were left out, yet their input was crucial.

They also argued that it was Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and not the DPP, which had the mandate to deal with procurement irregularities.

The EACC says the company was awarded the tender at a highly inflated and uncompetitive price of Sh588,198,328. This was after the introduction of serialisation documents, which was not part of the mandatory requirement in the tender, eliminated other bidders.

The watchdog said the firm submitted forged or falsified bid documents calculated to win the tender. It is alleged that the company deceptively demonstrated technical and financial capacity to undertake the works, yet it did not have the ability.