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Court to rule on Waititu’s application for access to county office Thursday

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu pictured  in court on July 29, 2019 when he was charged with corruption/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – The High Court will determine Thursday whether embattled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu will be allowed access his to office despite an ongoing trial over misappropriation of funds.

Waititu is challenging a court order restraining him from accessing his office over a Sh588 million tender fraud for which he is being tried.

Justice Ngenye Macharia on Monday said he will also decide if bail terms granted to Waititu and 11 others in a graft related case should be varied.

This is after Prosecutor Alexander Muteti and lawyers Nelson Havi and Tom Ojienda appearing for Waititu argued for and against the direction of an anti-corruption court.

Muteti urged the court not to interfere with the discretion of Trial Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi and instead dismiss Waititu’s appeal.

Justice Macharia was asked to find that barring Waititu from office pending his trial does not amount to removal.

Muteti explained that just like other state officers facing graft charges and are out of office ” he should not expect any preferial treatment”.

“No vacuum has been created by barring the governor from accessing his office because he has a deputy,” argued Muteti

Waititu has on the other hand argued that restraining him from office is tantamount to removal from office.

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He has faulted a decision by Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi last month barring indicted public officials from office that informed the lower courts directive arguing she went beyond her mandate.

The court has also been asked to review the terms granted by the court on grounds they are excessive and unreasonable even though most of them have since secured their release.

Waititu was released on a Sh15 million cash bail, an amount his lawyers said was excessive.

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