NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – A search by the EACC at the residence of Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria in Gatanga on Thursday turned chaotic when a group of MCAs and residents attempted to block the detectives.
While the EACC officers said they were blocked from conducting their work, the Governor says the officials ambushed him, prompting him to call the police.
One of the detectives identified as Francis Wambua, who despite making it clear he is not supposed to speak to journalists was coerced into an interview by Wa Iria’s lawyer.
“Please, kindly I would not want to address the press,” Wambua could be heard trying to convince Wa Iria’s supporters and the lawyer, after the Governor finished telling his side of the story.
Eventually, the detective bowed to the ‘pressure’ and went ahead to spill the beans of what had transpired before he was cut short after he began explaining the thrashing they endured.
He told journalists that they were attacked while some of the documents they say had incriminating evidence against the Governor were snatched from them.
“We came with a search warrant, it was signed. We gave it to your representative Mr Njenga and as we proceeded to do the search to the five vehicles, the Governor said he is going to talk like a politician. He incited them and we were all beaten and everything taken,” he said amid interruptions from the Governor and supporters.
“How can you incite people in your own house?” the Governor could be heard asking.
Wambua continued with what was to be his last statement by saying, “we were really beaten.”
Though majority of journalists were barred from accessing the compound at the initial stage of the search, but one could see the drama from outside.
At one point, some documents were dropped outside the gate by unidentified person from the compound before it was rushed to a waiting vehicle.
EACC Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo has since condemned the attack saying the interference will not hamper the probe against the Governor.
Wa Iria in a counter accusation accused the detectives of assault, saying he was mulling whether to take legal action against them.
He protested against how the investigators introduced themselves, how they carried out the search and linking it to the county politics.
“People came to my house with guns and actually said they can break in. Who is assaulting who? “he asked. “They forcefully took my phone and attempted to assault my wife.”
He went on to claim that the EACC detectives even harassed one of his kids who was going to school during the morning raid.
“I called the police thinking my house was under attack, I even thought the Al-Shabaab (terrorist) were here,” he said.
Wa Iria claimed that the anti-graft body was being used by his political detractors to score goals.
“This started as soon as I was elected the Governor of Murang’a. They have schemed against me,” he said.
At one point during the drama at his compound, a lady journalist was mishandled after she picked a call from a ‘perceived political enemy’ of the Governor.
The Governor alleged that his opponents were holding meetings in Murang’a town, “and were very happy that their plot was successful.”
Anti-riot police officers had been deployed at the Governor’s residence to ensure peace prevails after his supporters threatened to breaking through the gate,” to see what it is happening. “They want to kill him,” they charged.