Kenyan authorities on Sunday detained Ferdinand Waititu, the governor of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s home region Kiambu, on corruption charges, reported Yahoo News.
Lawyer Kipchumba Karori said Waititu surrendered to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Sunday after prosecution orders were issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Friday.
“Yes, it is true that the governor has presented himself and he is accompanied by his lawyer,” EACC spokesman Yassin Amaro told Capital FM News. “We will now process him before he is produced in court tomorrow (Monday).”
It is the latest of a series of arrests of top government officials in line with President Kenyatta’s clampdown on corruption.
Waititu is accused of irregularly awarding a $5.6 million project to construct a road in Kiambu. Some of the charges against the governor are money laundering, abuse of office, conflict of interest, and engaging in fraudulent practices. He has denied any wrongdoing. His wife Susan Wangari Ndung’u is also wanted to face charges as she is the director of Bienvenue Delta hotel and Saila Two Estate Developers Limited, which have been beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime.
Last week Kenya’s finance minister, Henry Rotich, and 14 other top officials were charged with graft-related charges. Rotich is accused of flouting proper procurement procedures in allotting a contract worth over $450m for the construction of two hydro-electric dams to the Italian company CMC de Ravenna.
The arrests are the result of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise to tackle widespread corruption in the country. Kenya is ranked 144th out of 180 nations by Transparency International in its annual corruption index.
In a landmark decision taken last week, the Kenyan High Court ruled that county chiefs charged with corruption should stay away from their office. The ruling stated that their roles would be completely taken over by their duties for the duration of their trials.