In the prime of his political career, Ferdinand Waititu, the former Kiambu governor, was a vibrant figure of prominence. However, on December 19, 2019, his political trajectory took a steep plunge when the county assembly impeached him, attributing it to alleged embezzlement of over Sh588 million from county funds through third parties and close associates. The Senate gave its nod to the impeachment, and ever since, Waititu has been tangled in legal battles to clear his name.
According to Waititu, his life turned a sour corner, and he felt deserted by those he once considered allies. He lamented the absence of genuine companionship in his political circle, realizing that he was surrounded by opportunists rather than true friends. “My experience has been a profound political lesson. I was constantly sought after for favors as Kiambu’s governor, many of whom I helped ascend their political ladder. But now, they turn a deaf ear to my calls,” Waititu confessed.
His predicament seems to have worsened. The former Kabete MP alleges that the very people he advocated for during their campaigns, including President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, have distanced themselves from him. “I was a staunch supporter of President Ruto and his deputy. I even gave up my personal vehicles, including a modified Toyota Tundra known as ‘The Beast,’ for their campaign. But now, I find myself isolated, seemingly forgotten,” Waititu disclosed in a recent interview.
His assets, including the famous vehicle, are now frozen by the High Court under the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission’s (EACC) order, on the premise that they were acquired through corrupt practices during his tenure as Kabete MP and Kiambu governor. The frozen assets, which include cars, land, and other properties, are valued at Sh1.9 billion as per court documents.
Waititu links his current woes to his support for President Ruto’s presidential ambitions. He stands ready to demonstrate that the Delta Hotel and the former Jamii Bora building were financed through bank loans, not illicit gains. The hotel, once bustling, now sees a scant number of guests, and signs of neglect are apparent.
Despite the bleak circumstances, Waititu remains hopeful. He was once surrounded by bodyguards and fervent supporters, but now only a handful of friends stand by him. His phone, once buzzing with calls, now rings sparingly. But despite the changed circumstances, Waititu strives to keep his political ties intact, cautiously voicing his concerns.
He is hopeful that his legal battles, which he believes were politically motivated under former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure, will eventually be dropped. His faith, however, wavers as he witnesses others being exonerated while his own name remains tarnished.
His political predicaments were amplified when he publicly endorsed President Ruto, leading to the EACC’s heightened scrutiny. Waititu’s attempt to revive his political career through the Nairobi River Commission was halted when the Law Society of Kenya obtained a temporary injunction barring him from assuming the position, citing his impeachment.
Adding insult to injury, Waititu was notably excluded from a significant political gathering in Githunguri, Kiambu, further isolating him from his political allies. Today, he finds comfort in the embrace of his family, continuing his fight to reclaim his reputation.
“I have very few friends left. It’s my two wives and children who remain my pillar of strength,” says Waititu, a poignant reminder of his journey from political limelight to shadows.