NAKURU, Kenya, Jul 27 – Former Nyandarua Governor Waithaka Mwangi is among three ex-officials charged Friday with abuse of office, flouting of Public Procurement and Disposal Act and failure to comply with laws regarding the management of public funds.
Waithaka, former Water, Environment and Energy County Executive Member Grace Gitonga and current Chief Officer for Water Environment and Energy Gichinga Gaiko denied seven counts of abuse of office when they appeared before a Nakuru court.
The three who appeared before Chief Magistrate Josphat Burudi were represented by lawyers Assa Nyakundi and Kariuki Mwangi.
According to the charge sheet, the trio is supposed to be charged together with five others who are yet to be arrested.
The accused persons are being prosecuted for awarding Tahal Consulting Engineers Ltd, Chen Yochanan Ofer and Albert Attias Sh50,470,513 tender to redesign the Ol Kalou Town sewerage system.
The tender which was awarded during the tenure of Governor Mwangi has been cited as irregular since it had not been planned nor budgeted for during the 2013/2014 financial year.
Lawyers Nyakundi and Kariuki prayed that the court releases the accused persons on reasonable bond terms claiming that Waithaka and Gichinga were ailing and need medication.
The lawyers sought the release of Gitonga on grounds that she was a renowned personality and was not a flight risk.
The prosecution led by Victor Owiti objected the application due to the seriousness of the charges the three face and that the case was of public interest.
Defence lawyer in reply asked the court to overlook the objection by the prosecution saying no affidavit had been sworn to show compelling reasons why the accused persons cannot be granted bail.
The lawyers told the court their clients have co-operated with Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers since surrendering in Nyeri when they learnt that they were being sought.
Burudi was set to make a ruling on the application for bond at 4pm on Friday.