Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza has dared the county assembly to impeach her, coming just a day after a resident filed an impeachment motion.
She also blamed her political troubles on her resolve to weed out corruption in the county.
Addressing the media in Nairobi on Friday after appearing before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), she maintained that she won’t be cowed by ‘cartels’.
“They think that because I am a woman, I will answer when they cough. I won’t be intimidated. Whatever is happening is being sponsored by greedy people and I will not go against the law to please some leaders,” Ms Mwangaza said.
She was accompanied by her husband Murega Baicu and lawyer Danstan Omari.
On the impeachment petition presented to the assembly, the governor said she was prepared to face off with MCAs all the way to court.
“This is hot air. They can pass the motion and take it to the Senate but I am ready to defend myself because I have done nothing wrong. Whatever they are doing will work in my favour,” she added.
She termed the nepotism allegations listed by the anti-graft agency recently as fake, even as she admitted that one of her sisters had indeed been hired as a bodyguard.
“Should a bodyguard go through vetting? What is wrong with having my sister as a bodyguard who is earning a salary from the national police service?” She wondered.
“I have been working with my sister as a personal assistant for the last five years. Why did they not complain then? Do the MCAs want to vet even my cook?"
She added that her husband, who was also hired as an aide, does not draw a salary from the county government.
“Cartels are fighting back but I will stand firm to protect public resources. I am not in the business of massaging any cartel. The people are behind me,” Ms Mwangaza said.
Her husband, Mr Baicu, alleged that he is being crucified because of whistleblowing on the Meru Youth Service (MYS) Training Centre lease deal from the previous administration.
“I found out that the former administration has been paying Sh325,000 monthly for the MYS centre yet it is in a public land. The money is being paid to the Catholic Diocese of Meru. The church was paid Sh5 million and is now demanding Sh7 million. We want EACC to confirm if the pending bill should be paid,” Mr Baicu said.
He said that following the discovery, the governor had written to the EACC to seek an advisory opinion on whether the Catholic Church should be paid for the facility.
Speaking at the facility early this month, Mr Baicu, said besides the Sh325,000 in rent, the MYS board has been paying Sh70,000 monthly for an office in Meru town.
Mr Baicu said he also unearthed a ‘dubious’ claim for road construction within the Sh1.2 billion pending bills.
“I found a claim which indicated the contractor had done 'various roads'. What road is known as various and several? These are the issues that have sparked the attacks against me,” he said.
However, during the vetting of the county executive committee nominee for roads James Muthomi, it emerged that the phrase ‘various and several’ is used in the local purchase order when many roads are involved.