Anti-corruption officers pounce on Murang’a governor
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria was on Wednesday bundled into a Land Rover by anti-graft agency officers and driven away for questioning.
The six officers, who pounced during the lunch break, found Mr Iria just finishing a meeting with his county chief officers.
An aide said the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officers were making their second visit after they failed to find him last month.
Sources in the governor’s office who sought anonymity said there was brief gun drama when Mr Wa Iria’s security details tried to bar the EACC officers from entering the office.
The governor then walked to the parking bay where his attempts to drive to Nairobi was thwarted by the officers who insisted that he rides in their green Land Rover .
After a brief argument, he agreed to board the vehicle. As they drove off, a convoy comprising his official vehicle, chase cars and county executives followed his to Nairobi.
Business in the county offices was disrupted temporarily as workers left their desk to watch the drama.
County assembly members who were about to go to the debating chambers also spent some time in groups as they discussed the afternoon’s occurrence.
Speaker Ndiati Kariku said that they were not aware why the governor had been arrested and could not comment.
Last year when the senate summoned the governor, he refused, saying he was “not a tourist attraction”.
He was not among those mentioned in the dossier that President Uhuru Kenyatta presented to Parliament implicated in graft. Eleven governors are on the list.
Wednesday’s arrest is likely to send shivers down the spines of other governors, MPs, senators and other public officials who have been mentioned adversely in relation to corruption cases.
The governor was later released on bond and is expected back at the commission offices for further investigation next week.
The commission says Mr Iria is under investigation for various allegations based on Chapter 6 on integrity and leadership, which include “knowingly misleading”’ the commission contrary to Section 46 (1) (c).
Meanwhile, embattled Nairobi City County Secretary Lillian Ndegwa was also seized by anti-graft watchdog officers onWednesday moments after ward reps threatened to eject her from her office.
The MCAs had vowed to flush Mrs Ndegwa out of her office in the early afternoon but before they could do so, the EACC officers pounced on her at City Hall.
And they also arrested Ms Nancy Kiruri, the county head of budgeting, who was found in a restaurant enjoying her lunch.
The two City Hall officials are among others who appeared in a report of Audited Accounts for the County as at 2013 members of the Public Accounts Committee had tabled before the assembly last week.