- Beneficiaries were paid for collecting garbage, unblocking drains and clearing bushes, work that is ordinarily done by county staff.
- But Mr Waititu has defended the programme, saying it was a way of creating jobs for youth, like he had promised during his campaigns.
Six months after he took office, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu launched a rehabilitation programme dubbed Kaa Sober in Makwa village in Gatundu North, where chang’aa brewing is rampant.
Shortly after, the programme, which had only 300 beneficiaries at its inception, was extended to other wards. The beneficiaries were paid Sh400 daily each for doing manual work.
It is now claimed that before it ended in February, it had gobbled up about Sh1 billion, which comes to about Sh2 million daily.
As the programme spread, with the number of beneficiaries rising to 6,500, according to Mr Waititu, it became controversial, with county leaders and experts questioning its effectiveness and sustainability.
They viewed it as an avenue for theft and a breeding ground for political militia.
Backed by nearly all Members of County Assembly (MCAs), the leaders included senators Kimani Wamatangi and Isaac Mwaura (nominated), Woman Rep Gathoni wa Muchomba, MP Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Thika lawmaker Patrick Wainaina.
Beneficiaries were paid for collecting garbage, unblocking drains and clearing bushes, work that is ordinarily done by county staff.
And, during public holidays and rallies, they were ferried in buses to harass Mr Waititu’s critics, a matter that was reported to police.
Payments were made every evening through MCAs or select administrators, who collected the cash from the county office.
Mr Waititu, in one of the videos that has been doing the rounds, was captured explaining how he would give ward representatives the money, and acknowledged that the beneficiaries were described as his militia.
The programme, which later faced a cash crunch, was terminated in February this year, when 5,200 beneficiaries were awarded certificates at Ndumberi Stadium and given a Sh104 million send-off package, with each receiving a Sh20,000 cheque.