By Prudence Minayo
Ex-Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s upward trajectory in politics came tumbling down in 2020 after he was uprooted from office on charges of abuse of office and gross misconduct. Prior to this, Baba Yao, as he was fondly referred to, was busy siphoning money from public coffers to enrich himself. This is the loot the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) is intent on recovering. The commission is currently after his Sh2 billion wealth in his case involving theft of public funds. This adds to the former governor’s woes as he lost a petition at the high court to dismiss his impeachment and is still facing a myriad of accusations in court.
WoK has compiled a list of buildings and other investments owned by Waititu and his wife.
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Ferdinand Waititu served as the Member of Parliament for Kabete Constituency from 2015 to 2017. He was then elected governor in 2017 and served until his removal from the office in 2020. During his tenure, EACC says he and his wife acquired several properties illegitimately.
“The Commission pursuant to its investigations established that between January 2015 and July 2017 and August 2017 and January 2020… he amassed wealth to the tune of Sh1,937,709,376.54 which is not commensurate to his known legitimate sources of income,” the EACC said.
Together with his wife, Susan Wangari, the two operated three trading companies named: Bienvenue Delta Hotel, Saika Two Estate Developers Limited, and Bins Management Services Limited. Some of these trading companies are said to have received unexplained colossal sums of money within a short time. For example, between 2017 and 2018, Saika Two Estate developers are said to have acquired five commercial buildings in Nairobi CBD including Jamii Bora, Biashara street and Solar House.
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The multi billion properties the EACC has questioned comprise of:
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Houses in Lakisama, Migaa Estate, Runda, Runda Grove, and parcels of land in Embakasi ranching, two plots in Thindigua and two plots in Kayole, all amounting to Sh280 million. The Kayole plots are valued at Sh20 million and registered under Waititu and two minors. The Runda and Runda Grove properties are worth Sh30 million and Sh96 million respectively.
Storied buildings in Nairobi Central Business District including Jamii Bora building which he acquired at Sh200 million, Sh380 million Delta Hotel, and the Sh110 million Biashara shopping mall.
Vehicles worth Sh24.4 million. Which include: Two Toyota Land Cruisers, a Toyota Probox, a Toyota Double Cabin and a Toyota Vitz.
The EACC found out Mr. Waititu ran 8 bank accounts and one loan account. The commission is after Sh804.6 million from seven of these accounts.
His wife’s four parcels of land in Kabete and Kajiado worth Sh19 million and a car she owns in partnership with Ekeza savings. Sh276.2 million which she has in three accounts. Susan also owns Suwanga Limited and Connex Logistics Africa Limited which traded with the Kiambu county government and made Sh16,423,418.
According to EACC, during his time in office, his income from legitimate sources could not have exceeded Sh110 million. However he ended up acquiring wealth almost 20 times this amount. In September 2021, the couple were issued notices to explain the source of their wealth but failed to do so.
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Ferdinand Waititu has several sources of legitimate income from rented properties, such as:
- Kayole junction property
- Reliance House in Umoja Caltex
- A plot in Light Industry Kayole Shopping Center
- A godown in Kayole by Meru Central Dairy Co-operative Union
While the EACC goes after his illegitimate wealth, the former Kiambu boss and his kin are still facing other allegations in court. On 29th July 2019, he was charged with fraud, dealing with suspect property, conflict of interest, abuse of office and money laundering. In the course of the case his wife and other associates were also charged alongside him. In 2021, he faced another blow after the prosecution was allowed to bring up new charges against him in the Sh588 million corruption case. Magistrate Thomas Nzioki allowed the Director of a public Prosecution to introduce new charges of dealing with public property. Ferdinand Waititu faces new charges of authorising Sh6 million payment, which belonged to the Kiambu county government, to Lake Naivasha Resort Limited.
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