Former Murang'a Governor's Wife and Brother Arrested in Ksh.140M Corruption Probe

Former Murang'a governor's wife and brother arrested over Ksh.140M corruption case, highlighting Kenya's anti-graft efforts, though prosecution was temporarily halted by court order.

Israel Ojoko
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Former Murang'a Governor's Wife and Brother Arrested in Ksh.140M Corruption Probe

Former Murang'a Governor's Wife and Brother Arrested in Ksh.140M Corruption Probe

Jane Waigwe Kimani, the wife of former governor Mwangi wa Iria, and her brother Solomon Mutura Kimani have been arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in connection with a Ksh.140 million corruption case involving Murang'a County. The two are directors of Value View Ltd, one of the companies allegedly used as a conduit for the fraudulent scheme.

The EACC has escorted Waigwe and Mutura to the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court for arraignment. The commission is also pursuing six other suspects, including the former governor, who failed to honor summons to appear before the EACC on Wednesday morning.

According to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), the eight suspects are accused of engaging in procurement irregularities and conflict of interest in the award of publicity tenders by the Murang'a County government to Ms. Top Image Media Consultancy Ltd during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 financial years.

The ODPP has recommended that the suspects be charged with various offenses, including conspiracy to commit corruption, abuse of office, unlawful acquisition of public property, conflict of interest, dealing with suspect property, and money laundering.

Why this matters: This high-profile corruption case involving a former governor's family members highlights the ongoing efforts by Kenyan authorities to combat graft and hold public officials accountable. The arrest and prosecution of suspects in such cases send a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated, regardless of an individual's position or connections.

The former governor, Mwangi wa Iria, has dismissed the allegations as a political witch-hunt and evaded arrest by failing to disembark from a chopper during a tour of the Western region by Azimio Coalition members. Azimio Principal Kalonzo Musyoka has vowed to stand with the former governor and challenged the EACC to charge high-profile individuals in the Kenya Kwanza government who have been accused of criminal activities.

While Waigwe and Mutura were arrested and presented before the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court, their prosecution was halted after the Murang'a High Court granted orders barring the DPP, Inspector General of Police, EACC, and Directorate of Criminal Investigations from arresting and prosecuting the accused. The High Court's ruling was in response to a petition filed by the two suspects.

Key Takeaways

  • Former governor's wife, brother arrested over Ksh.140M corruption case
  • Suspects accused of procurement irregularities, conflict of interest in Murang'a County
  • Former governor evaded arrest, claims political witch-hunt
  • Prosecution halted after High Court granted orders barring arrest and prosecution
  • Case highlights ongoing efforts to combat graft and hold officials accountable