Court dismisses Waititu’s request to assume office


NAIROBI, KENYA: Former Embakasi Member of Parliament Ferdinand Waititu on Monday lost a bid to have orders stopping him from assuming office as chairman of Athi Water Services Board lifted. High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi who issued orders suspending Waititu’s appointment last week declined to review her decision.

Waititu had filed an urgent application through his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui. The judge instead directed the lawyer to serve the businessman who filed the case against Waititu and appear in court on Wednesday for all parties to be heard. Waititu argues that the businessman who filed the case against him and obtained orders did not disclose information to the court that the politician had already assumed office as the chairman when the case was filed.

Waititu was appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Water Judy  Wakhungu on January 10 as Chairman of Athi Water Services for a period of three years. But Justice Ngugi issued orders last Thursday stopping Waititu from taking office after a case questioning his integrity was lodged by a businessman Benson Riitho.

Riitho told the court that Waititu is unfit to hold office because he had allegedly been involved in fraudulent land transactions. The businessman also accused Waititu of committing hate speech against members of  the  Masaai Community living in Kayole area in Nairobi County.

Waititu has pleaded with the court to allow him to clear his name over the alleged questionable land transactions and other claims that were raised in the suit filed by businessman Benson Riitho.  He is accusing Riitho of misleading the court and failing to establish the accuracy and truthfulness of the integrity claims against him before challenging his appointment.

The businessman obtained the court orders on grounds that Waititu had pending integrity issues. Among them was that he was involved in suspect land transactions in Embakasi, Nairobi. At the centre of the claims is a piece of land which the businessman says came to Waititu’s possession illegally.

He is also accusing Waititu of threatening members of the Maasai community with eviction from Embakasi last year. Waititu, however, says the statements in Ritho’s suit were designed to hoodwink the court into reaching a decision against him. “The petitioner does not disclose that there is in fact no one who died in the altercations attributed to the applicant in regard to the Maasai community,” he says.

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