Kiambu Governor Waititu ouster boost to fight against graft

Friday, January 31st, 2020 00:00 |
Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. Photo/PD/FILE

The vote by Senate to impeach Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu over claims of abuse of office and corruption has struck the right cord in the minds of right-thinking Kenyans.

Indeed, it is an affirmation of sorts to the public that individuals fingered for shenanigans related to the use of public office for private gain can and should be held to account. 

It is also a seal of confidence in the minds of Wanjiku that the Senate has the wherewithal to execute its mandate of playing an oversight role on counties.

That role serves the public-spirited purpose of keeping county bosses and other officials who may want to think impunity is an achievement on their toes, with the knowledge that they can be run out of town for their misdeeds. That is as it should be.

Counties must now rise to the occasion and ensure that individuals fingered for vices such as cronyism, graft, unprocedural tendering practices and other malfeasances are held to account.

Budget reports are replete with cases of grandiose projects, which are priced way above normal cost with the intention of lining pockets of a few.

These must be now be pursued with both zeal and gusto and the cases taken to a logical conclusion.

Further, counties are on the spot, year in year out, for paying for goods and services that were never supplied in the first place.

In short, counties spend hundreds of millions paying for air. It is a very sorry state.

The Senate has ably demonstrated that it has the teeth to bite and that despite opposition within its ranks, the overwhelming vote was in the public interest—to send Waititu home.

But even as we laud both the Kiambu county and the Senate for this noble move, we must question the manner the impeachment was gazetted—within a few hours and at night. 

While it was not illegal, it was nevertheless not normal practice, which raises several questions about just what the motive was.

It is crucial that even as measures are taken to pursue county honchos responsible for sleaze and financial improprieties, fidelity to the law must be the pillar of such endeavours.

In short, due process must be followed and all measures taken to ensure the pursuit of justice does not circumvent the same law that should guide the entire process. The countdown to rid counties of the bad elements must start now. 

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