PS Kibicho’s Kirinyaga tour escalates war with Waiguru

Friday, May 29th, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and Interior PS Karanja Kibicho at a past function. Photo/PD/FILE

Githinji Mwangi

The political animosity between Internal Security Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru went a notch higher after the PS tacitly threw his weight behind the unfolding push to impeach the county chief.

In an extensive tour of the county billed as an inspection of National government projects, Kibicho was conspicuously accompanied by members of the County Assembly spearheading the bid to impeach Waiguru. Five PSs were also in the delegation.

In response to the tour, Waiguru told off Kibicho, telling him to “stop politicising county projects for self-gain”.

During the tour Kibicho conveyed an apology from deputy governor Peter Ndambiri, who has been at loggerheads with Waiguru.

The governor has pointed fingers at the Interior PS, accusing him of fuelling efforts to remove her from office.

Incidentally, both Waiguru and Kibicho are close allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and are expected to play a critical role in the 2022 succession politics.

They are also opposed to Deputy President William Ruto succeeding Uhuru.

Kirinyaga’s son

His activities and wars with Waiguru have raised speculation that he is interested in the Kirinyaga  governor seat.

But Kibicho yesterday denied claims that he is interested in the position. 

“I’m not interested in any political seat in the county. My aim is to ensure Kirinyaga county gets development and the money allocated by the national government is put to good use,” he said.

He maintained that as a son of Kirinyaga, he does not require the governor’s permission to initiate development projects.

In what could be deemed an act of provocation, Kibicho inspected county government projects, notably the planned Sh300 million Wanguru Stadium, prompting Waiguru to warn him against interfering in county affairs.

The governor said the projects Kibicho inspected were her initiative. 

“I want to tell those who want to politicise the projects to keep off. It is me who requested the President to initiate them when he toured Kirinyaga early this year. The people of Kirinyaga know the truth,” she said.

Waiguru said the stadium was a county government project. 

“Let us not bring confusion into this. It is me who gave Sports Kenya the clearance to construct the stadium and it will be handed to me once complete,” she said. 

She accused the County Assembly of being used to sabotage her projects.

“We need a sanitiser to clean our Assembly. The MCAs are bent on sabotaging government operations and projects,” she said.

Kamau Murango, the Kirinyaga County Assembly Majority Leader, who tabled the Waiguru impeachment motion has thrown his weight behind Kibicho.

Murango, who has since been de-whipped by the Jubilee Party, maintained that they should be allowed to exercise their oversight mandate.

“We are solidly behind the PS and our President. Let no one mislead the President that we are not with him. But I would like him to leave Kirinyaga issues to us,” he said.

This is, perhaps, in reference to what is seen as efforts by the Jubilee leadership, led by secretary general Raphael Tuju, to rescue the governor. Tuju wrote the letter de-whipping Murango.

Also present at the Kibicho’s tour were three MPs opposed to Waiguru and several MCAs who support the impeachment motion.

This followed a meeting of MCAs at the governor’s Kangaru residence during which some of them claimed it was meant to bully them out of the impeachment effort.

Speaking during a meeting attended by the three MPs, Kibicho told the ward reps not to be intimidated by the governor and “continue doing your work without fear”.

“You were elected to discharge your mandate without fear. Don’t give in to intimidation,” he told them.

 The three MPs, Gichimu Githinji (Gichugu), John Wambugu (Kirinyaga Central) and Mwea’s Kabinga Wachira, declared their support for the President and distanced themselves from the Tanga Tanga group associated with Ruto.

They asked Kibicho to continue initiating development projects in the county. 

Kabinga praised the PS for obtaining the title for land meant for construction of a Kenya Medical Research Institute facility after the governor refused to release the document, saying certain conditions had to be met.

The High Court in April suspended impeachment proceedings against Waiguru, citing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Weldon Korir ruled that the Kirinyaga Assembly should wait for the Covid-19 pandemic to be contained.

The MCAs accuse the governor of gross violation of the Constitution by failing to deliver the annual state of the county address to the Assembly.

They also allege that Waiguru undermined the authority of the Assembly by not submitting county plans and policies for approval and failing to table annual reports on implementation status.

Waiguru has dismissed the grounds for her intended impeachment, terming them “flimsy”.

More on National