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Economy

I’m innocent, Waititu says on first day before Senate

Ferdinand Waititu
Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu pleaded his innocence as the Senate started a two-day special sitting to investigate the validity of the charges that led to his impeachment on December 19.

Mr Waititu, who faces a myriad of charges, appeared before the Senate’s full plenary to answer to charges of abuse of office and violation of the Constitution.

The county boss was impeached by 63 MCAs who voted in support of Ndenderu MCA Solomon Kinuthia motion that accused Mr Waititu of abetting corruption, conflict of interest, claiming the governor’s family was doing business with the county, and over-budgeting in the roads department for kick-backs.

When he appeared before lawmakers Tuesday, Mr Waititu asked his accusers to produce evidence implicating him.

“I have so many relatives who deal with so many things. Some, because I am the governor, they want to enjoy the office of the governor,” Mr Waititu said after charges against him were read by the MCAs.

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He pleaded with Senators to hear all facts and avoid propaganda, saying Kiambu government is known for propaganda.

The County Assembly, through its lawyer Nani Mungai, told the House that the cases are not based on criminal liability but to show political responsibility on the conduct of the governor.

“The governor has not disputed any of the allegations levelled against him,” Mr Mungai said during the trial.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has since charged Mr Waititu, his wife Susan Wangari and some officials in his administration with corruption-related offences.

They are out on bond but the court barred Mr Waititu from accessing his office until the case is heard and determined.

Last week, the lawmakers rejected the formation of an 11-member committee to hear his charges. It will require 24 of the 47 Senate “delegations” to vote at a special session hearing the impeachment charges.

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