Muranga Governor Mwangi wa Iria was arrested Wednesday by police officers tied to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in relation to a case involving a bounced cheque.
Detectives sought out the governor at his office and escorted him in a Land Rover to the EACC Integrity Centre headquarters in Nairobi for questioning.
Mr wa Iria, who was accompanied by his lawyer John Ng’ang’a, briefly talked to journalists on arrival at EACC offices and dismissed his arrest.
“Wameniweka kwa Land Rover ili dunia yote ione (They have put me in a Land Rover for the whole world to see),” he complained, insisting his arrest had nothing to do with the EACC’s recent ‘List of Shame’ naming 175 public officials under investigation for corruption offences.
Sources initially indicated that the governor was being questioned in connection to a cheque he had issued for payment of supply of animal feed which later bounced. Mr wa Iria claimed the case was later settled before Justice Isaac Lenaola and he was cleared after paying the money.
The anti-corruption commission says he is under investigation for various allegations based on chapter 6 of the Constitution on integrity and leadership, which include “knowingly misleading” EACC.
The arrest came as a surprise considering that Mr wa Iria was not among the 13 governors asked to “step aside” by President Uhuru Kenyatta after being included in the EACC’s ‘List of Shame’.
Those named on the list included Governors Isaac Ruto (Bomet), Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Ali Joho (Mombasa), Peter Munya (Meru), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Nadhif Jama (Garissa) and Godana Doyo (Isiolo).
Others were Ukur Yattani (Marsabit), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Okoth Obado (Migori), Samuel Tunai (Narok) and Josephat Nanok (Turkana).
Additional reporting by Caroline Wafula.