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Haji wants absent Waititu to undergo mental assessment

By Nancy Gitonga
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary
    • Haji seeks an order to have a team of three doctors appointed by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB) to conduct the mental assessment
    • DPP vehemently opposed the application for adjournment saying that the conduct of Waititu is meant to further delay the graft case by failing to appear in court as ordered last week.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji wants impeached former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu who is said to be indisposed since August 30 to undergo a mental assessment.

Through his assistants Victor Mule and Joseph Riungu, Haji urged a Nairobi court to order a mental assessment for the former governor, saying he intends to have his bail cancelled for failure to appear for the hearing of his Sh588 million graft case for the second time.

In his application made before trial magistrate Thomas Nzioki, the DPP is also seeking  an order to have a team of three doctors appointed by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board to conduct the mental assessment.

“Waititu’s failure to appear in court has made it impossible for this case to proceed and we urge a team of independent practitioners do examine him and the mental assessment report filed in court for purposes of the court to assess his mental status as we intend to make an application to have his bail cancelled,” said Mule.

Admitted in hospital

This is after Waititu’s lawyer John Swaka yesterday informed the magistrate that his client was absent from court for the hearing of his case since he is admitted at Jumuia Hospital.

“My client has been unwell. He went for check up on October 24 and was referred to High Dependency Unit for admission at Jumuia Hospital following a recommendation by his personal doctor.

As we speak today, Waititu is admitted in hospital and not ready to proceed with the case on account of his health,” said the lawyer.

Swaka sought to have the matter adjourned until Waititu recovers.

But the DPP vehemently opposed the application for adjournment, saying that Waititu’s conduct is meant to further delay the graft case by failing to appear in court as ordered last week.

Mule said the two medical documents tabled in court by the governor’s lawyer did not indicate the doctors who examined him. 

The prosecution claimed that Waititu had developed a notoriety for failing to appear in court, citing an incident on January 20 when he made an application to have the case adjourned to attend to his impeachment proceeds at the Senate.

On August 30, he made another application claiming he had tested positive for Covid-19 following results from Lancet, the prosecution added.  

On October 21, Waititu yet again failed to appear in court and through his lawyer tabled a medical report from Super Care Medical Centre showing that upon further review of his status of Covid -19 he still complained of chest pain and dizziness.  

Yesterday, the DPP urged the court to order the case against the former governor’s wife Susan and his co-accused person to proceed without Waititu.

“We seek that the criminal case against all accused persons to proceed in the absence of Waititu.

The court do exercise its discretion and find that the right under Article 50 of the Constitution and Section 206 of the Criminal Procedural Code (CPC) is not absolute,” he said 

Swaka opposed the request to have Waititu undergo a mental assessment, saying that it will infringe on his rights as he has personal doctors.

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