Kirinyaga governor’s public office tenure stalked by controversy

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 00:00 |
Karumandi MCA Anthony Munene is escorted out of the Kirinyaga County Assembly chambers after yesterday’s session turned chaotic. Photo/PD/GITHINJI MWANGI

Eric Wainaina @EWainaina

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Mumbi Waiguru’s tenure in public office has been riddled with controversy.

Waiguru, who was yesterday handed a humiliating impeachment over claims of running a corrupt and arrogant administration, appears to court controversy wherever she goes.

The governor, who before her appointment as Devolution Cabinet Secretary in 2013 was a little-known Ministry of Finance employee , has fought many battles, including corruption accusations in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

Waiguru blames her current troubles on Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, who has denied claims that he is eyeing the governorship.

But the governor has defended herself against claims in the impeachment motion.

“The issues raised in the motion are baseless and a waste of valuable time,” she said yesterday. 

If the senate ratifies her impeachment, this will be the second time Waiguru will be forced out of a public office over graft allegations.

In 2015, following pressure from the Opposition — particularly from ODM leader Raila Odinga — over the NYS scandal, Waiguru resigned from the Devolution ministry.

“The ministry is under investigations. Waiguru should step aside to facilitate investigations,” Raila said in July 2015.

She quit on November 21, 2015 citing her “doctor’s advice”, saying she would prefer lighter duties.

Two months before she resigned, she filed a defamation suit against Raila accusing him of tarnishing her name.

But in a clear testimony of the maxim that there are no permanent enemies or friends in politics, but only interests, Waiguru and Raila are now bosom buddies.

Not only did Raila attend her wedding to lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo last July, she was among Jubilee leaders who campaigned for ODM’s candidate in the November 2019 by-election.

“Today I am here (in Kibra) because of the respect that I have for Baba Raila Odinga. That respect is because of the Handshake between him and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta,” Waiguru said during a campaign rally in Kibra.

Initially, she was very close to Deputy President William Ruto and was being touted as his possible running-mate in 2022 election before they parted ways.

Waiguru has been on a face-off with the national government over 100 acres of land in Kirinyaga for the construction of a Sh15 billion Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) centre after she declined to surrender the title deed. The government compulsorily acquired the land. 

More on National