"The power to arrest - to deprive a citizen of liberty - must be used fairly, responsibly, and without bias."
- Loretta Lynch
Governors in Kenya are demanding to be arrested honorably following last week’s arrest of Kiambu County’s Ferdinand Waititu, after he was accused of abuse-of-office.
The governors in the country believe there was no need for the whole drama as the County chief could have been invited or arrested honourably.
In what looked like scenes from a commando movie, officials from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) raided two of Mr. Waititu’s homes — one on Kiambu Road and another at Garden Estate in Runda — and ransacked them for five hours.
Search operations were also conducted in the county offices and homes of the county chief’s family members, directors of private companies, and 10 senior employees.
The mode of the operation did not go down well with governors who are now demanding to be treated with “decorum” in case of future arrests.
The message was passed to security agencies through their umbrella body, Council of Governors (CoG), where the county chiefs said that although they do not condone graft, they do not deserve to be treated “guilty as charged even before being subjected to courts of law.”
Speaking on the issue, CoG Chairman, Mr. Wycliffe Oparanya said the body was committed to the fight against corruption, but maintained that governors are senior citizens and must be treated with decorum by the security officials who should have respect for their office.
“We don’t condone corruption and we are ready to fight it…but the way Waititu was arrested, being frog matched – was so inhuman especially someone of his stature,” Mr. Oparanya told Nation.
“Why can’t they have decency? Just summon the Governor, tell him you wish to go to his house for a search instead of all these dramas in front of the media.
“Why do they want to do their work in front of the media? That is embarrassment targeted on the county chiefs. There must be dignity because human right is guaranteed in the Constitution,” he added.
According to the EACC Chief Executive Officer, Twalib Mbarak, the Kiambu County Chief, Ferdinand Waititu awarded tenders worth Sh588 million to companies owned with him and his immediate family members.
Mr. Oparanya, the governor of Kakamega, however, insists that no matter the allegations, county executives must not be treated as criminals by investigators before being proved guilty.
“You frog match a governor in front of his constituents and family? it is not fair.
“You are treating a whole governor as a criminal yet he has not been proved guilty. You are proving him guilty even before he is charged. I find that so bad and they should treat us with some dignity,” Mr. Oparanya said.
Do you agree with the governors?
Header Image Credit: FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP