Detectives from the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) on Thursday morning raided the homes and offices of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and other county officials in what caught the individuals by surprise.
In a statement issued after the raid, EACC boss Twalib Mbarak stated that the early morning operation is part of investigations into allegations that the Governor and other officials of the County Government of Kirinyaga, were irregularly paid travel allowances of approximately Ksh23 million and the monies were reportedly spent on non-existent trips.
The search warrants, according to EACC, were issued by the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nyeri.
“EACC is in the process of establishing whether the trips were actually undertaken and whether the documents supporting disbursement of Kenya Shillings Twenty Three Million (Kshs. 23,000,000/ =) to County officials were genuine, ” said Mbarak.
“…Our officers have been granted access to several offices and residences with a view of retrieving information that may be useful to the ongoing investigation.”
Waiguru has been facing graft and abuse of office allegations from Kirinyaga ward representatives.
The MCAs unsuccessfully attempted to kick the governor out of office through an impeachment process in June.
While acquitting the governor, who is also accused of influencing tender awards in the county, awarding them to his cronies and relatives, the Senate Select Committee that was investigating impeachment motion against her found that there was gross mismanagement of tenders in the county. The committee, however, said that it could not link the governor to the mismanagement of the tenders.
Instead, the committee recommended that the officers who constituted the committees that mismanaged the tender step aside and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and EACC investigate the matter.
There were two overly mentioned officers in the graft allegations who include the governor’s former PA Ms Pauline Kamau and Mr Gichira Wayne.
“The Committee notes that in the documents filed and during the hearing, the County Assembly did not draw a nexus between the Governor and the appointment of either Ms Pauline Kamau or Mr Gichira Wayne to a tender committee. Indeed, Mr Carilus Otieno, as the head of the county procurement unit, confirmed that the Governor had not taken part in the formulation of any tender committee,” the report tabled in the Senate in June noted.
However, the Committee noted that the circumstances under which Pauline Kamau was recruited raised a lot of questions. Ms Pauline Kamau, according to the findings, was not qualified to hold the office of Director of Administration and further that her recruitment was pushed through by the Governor.