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Waititu seeks review of bond terms after night in prison

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and his wife Susan Wangari arrive in court on July 28. Photo/CFM.

NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 31 – Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and wife Susan Wangari have filed an application seeking review of bail terms granted to them on Tuesday after denying corruption charges.

Waititu was ordered to pay Sh15 million cash bail or a bond of Sh30 million while his wife was to pay Sh4 million or bond of 10 million.

Through their lawyer Tom Ojienda, Waititu, his wife and other co-accused persons said the bail and bond were ‘excessive and amount to a constructive denial of bail.’ The application was filed on Wednesday.

Ojienda said Waititu is particularly angered by the decision to lock him out office, in what he argues amount to “his effective removal from office in violation of the constitution.”

“The bail terms are in excessive, unproportionate, harsh, unjustifiable and should be reviewed downwards,” argues Ojienda in an application filed on Wednesday.

Also sought for interpretation is whether anti-corruption magistrate Lawrence Mugambi misdirected himself in locking Waititu out of office.

By Tuesday evening, theirs lawyers said they had not succeeded to secure their freedom.

Waititu was taken to Industrial Area remand prison while his wife slept in Lang’ata Women’s prison.

The two were charged with corruption over an irregular tender worth Sh588 million, in which they are accused of having received kickbacks through their company Saika Two Estate Developers Limited.

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They were charged alongside directors of Testimony Enterprises Limited—Charles Chege and Beth Wangeci—which was contracted by the country to upgrade roads.

Also charged are tender committee members Zakary Njenga Mbugua, Joyce Ng’ina Musyoka, Simon Kobocho Kang’ethe, Anselm Gachukia Wanjiku and Samuel Muigai Mugo as well as Engineer Lukas Wahinya who is in charge of roads in the county.

They all denied several corruption-related charges and were granted various bond terms.

Anti-Corruption Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi also ordered all of them not to set foot in the county offices until their case is heard and determined.

Waititu’s lawyer Ojienda has criticized the order and vowed to appeal, saying the ruling the magistrate relied on by Justice Mumbi Ngugi did not stop him from him from being the governor for Kiambu.

“He was only stopped from accessing his office and can therefore, choose to work from home or set up another office to do his work,” Ojienda said, “a governor does not necessarily need an office to do his work.”

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro has since declared that he is in charge of the county affairs.

Ngugi who upheld a magistrate’s decision to bar Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine from office until a corruption case against him is heard and determined.

Kasaine has since appealed the ruling.

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