When he served as the governor of Kiambu, it was virtually impossible for Ferdinand Waititu to walk alone, and unnoticed, in public.
Everywhere he went, he tagged along with an aura of power characterized by a high-profile entourage that included bodyguards, country officials, and fuel guzzlers. The trappings of power acted like a magnet that pulled crowds toward him.
But Baba Yao, as he is popularly known, is today a pale shadow of his former self after he was impeached from office by the Senate in January 2020 over allegations of corruption, gross misconduct and abuse of office.
Waititu recently sent tongues wagging after he was spotted walking alone on the streets, in Ndenderu town, Kiambu county.
He is obedient, albeit incorrectly, donning a mask in line with the Ministry of Health’s directive to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Sporting casual wear, complete with a cap, he was pictured walking unperturbed, his meteoric fall from grace on display for all to see.
While some Kenyans sympathised with the former governor, many others were quick to point out his misery as the perfect warning for leaders, particularly county bosses, who misappropriate public funds and feel they are above the law.
Waititu, a shrewd politician, had a spectacular rise up the political ladder, starting as a counselor in Embakasi and becoming area MP before marginally losing to Evans Kidero in the battle for the Nairobi county gubernatorial seat in 2013.
He surprised many when he later successfully contested the Kabete parliamentary seat rendered vacant by the death of incumbent George Muchai, a position he calculatingly used to ascend to the Kiambu governor’s office in 2017.
His fortunes, however, started dwindling after he was implicated in various high-profile corruption scandals and later charged in court alongside his wife Susan Wangari over the irregular award of a tender worth KSh 588 million.
Apart from spending a week in remand prison, he was subjected to public humiliation as he was repeatedly locked out of presidential functions where he hoped to win President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ears.
His fate was eventually sealed with the January’s dramatic impeachment, bringing to a screeching halt the glittering career of a politician who always insisted he only feared hot porridge and ugali he could not finish.