Lugari MP Ayub Savula was on Friday evening arrested and taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) headquarters for interrogation over the Sh2.5 billion scandal at the Government Advertising Agency (GAA).
DCI Director George Kinoti confirmed the legislator, who is serving his second term, was arrested by his officers for conspiring to steal Sh122,335,500 from the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology.
Mr. Savula was arrested at an entertainment spot in Nairobi and will be held at the Muthaiga Police Station over the weekend pending his arraignment in court on Monday.
Three other suspects believed to have conspired with the MP to steal from the government, among them a former Principal Secretary and a departmental head, are on the run.
The DCI launched investigations in August after outraged media managers appealed to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji over a debt of more than Sh2.5 billion, which GAA has failed to pay over years despite services being rendered.
The arrest of the MP is the latest crackdown by the government on the war against corruption, especially in the public service.
GAA buys advertisements space on behalf of government departments and agencies, collects payments, and is supposed to pay media firms but has not been remitting the funds.
To make matters worse, media firms have been forced to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) for the outstanding amounts. When GAA was set-up in 2012, it was supposed to help the government cut down on advertising expenses.
However, big parastatals are privately complaining that their advertising costs have gone up tremendously and are not getting the kind of response they ordinarily do when they advertise directly.