Waiguru’s fate lies in Senate after MCAs impeach her

Anne Waiguru

What you need to know:

  • MCAs accused the governor of undermining the authority of the assembly and gross violation of the Constitution.
  • The motion was moved by Mutira MCA Kinyua Wangui, who accused Ms Waiguru of misconduct.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru is undergoing a political baptism by fire and her fate is now in the hands of the Senate after MCAs impeached her Tuesday.

When 23 MCAs out of 33 ward representatives voted for her ouster, it was the culmination of what had metamorphosed into a political contest between the first-time governor and ward representatives, fought in stadiums, churches, courts, on the vast expanse of the internet, and in the streets.

And after months of heavy political machinations, the MCAs’ will prevailed, lending credence to assertions that her relations with ward representatives is irretrievably broken.

MARRED BY CHAOS

In the vote, four MCAs abstained while six were absent from the tension-packed proceedings that were marred by chaos.

The law stipulates that the Senate must, within 10 days of receiving the assembly’s resolution from its Speaker, convene and set up a special committee or sit as a committee of the whole House to determine whether or not the claims in the impeachment are substantiated.

The Nation learnt that ward representatives were leaving nothing to chance in their bid to impeach the county boss and burnt the midnight oil as they chose to spend the night in the county assembly.

With their numbers secured and the job halfway done, they agreed to sacrifice their comfort and instead slept in the chambers to complete their mission.

They accused the governor of undermining the authority of the assembly and gross violation of the Constitution. The motion was moved by Mutira MCA Kinyua Wangui, who accused Ms Waiguru of misconduct.

She also faces accusations of going against the law by failing to deliver an annual State of the County Address to the Kirinyaga County Assembly, an act that Mr Wangui noted amounted to violation of the supreme law and the County Government Act.

“By failing to deliver the address in the assembly, the governor’s conduct amounts to violation of the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people as enshrined in the Constitution,” he stated.

POWERS ‘USURPED’

Other accusations are violating the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act by allegedly usurping the powers of the accounting officer, by establishing an irregular tender evaluation committee composed of her “partisan staff” for her own selfish interests.

Her office is also said to have improperly conferred a benefit to her when she irregularly paid herself Sh10.6 million in travel allowances by way of imprests yet she had not travel.

Speaker Anthony Gathumbi announced that the impeachment motion had met the threshold and promised to communicate the House resolutions to the Senate Speaker.

“Two-thirds of the MCAs have voted in support of the motion and therefore the process is proper,” he told the assembly.

‘OUTSIDE FORCES’

But Ms Waiguru dismissed the issues raised in the motion as baseless and a waste of valuable time that would have been been spent handling serious issues affecting the county, including the coronovirus crisis.

“Their intent is merely to bully me to achieve nefarious and personalised political objectives. I sought and obtained a clear and unequivocal court order stopping any proceedings by the assembly on the impeachment motion until the numerous issues that we raised with the court were determined. These matters remain undetermined and the injunction remains in place,” she said.

And MCAs allied to Governor Waiguru claimed that outside political forces had influenced the ouster motion.

“The motion was sponsored by a clique of politicians who want Ms Waiguru removed from office for their own selfish interests,” said Njukiini MCA Friendrick Bundi, a close ally of the county boss.

Governor Waiguru’s turf wars with MCAs began when the County Public Service Board’s term ended and she nominated four people to take up the posts.

But MCAs rejected the nominees, saying they did not reflect the county’s diversity. She also sacked three county executives and nominated new ones. Only the Health executive was confirmed while two were rejected.

The assembly also passed a motion abolishing the governor’s Directorate of Liaison and Communications office.

MCAs termed the office a propaganda tool, saying it was not serving the interests of the county government and its residents. Locally, the governor does not get the support of elected leaders, who snub her county functions.

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