Senate committee inquiry into Waiguru ouster set to kick off

Monday, June 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala with members of a Senate Committee that will probe the impeachment of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru addresses journalists at Parliament Buildings, last week. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

Githinji Mwangi

 The 11-member Senate committee formed to look into the impeachment of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru by the county assembly kicks off its work tomorrow.

 The findings of the committee chaired by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala may make or break the governor’s political career.

Waiguru is to defend herself against what she terms as external political machinations. 

On Saturday, the embattled governor submitted to the Senate bundles of documents in response to the impeachment charges against her.

She was required by the committee to submit the documents by Saturday. The documents were stashed in boxes marked Kirinyaga County Government.

“In compliance with the Senate’s request I have today filed my responses to the impeachment motion filed for my removal from office by the Kirinyaga County Assembly,” Waiguru wrote on her Twitter account. 

The Senate formed the committee on Tuesday following a charged debate on whether to handle the governor’s matter in a committee or the Plenary. The House voted to have a committee probe the impeachment. 

Watertight case

As the Upper House committee begins the probe, the Kirinyaga assembly has been instructed to designate not more than three MCAs to attend the proceedings.

The Senate Clerk has also directed the MCAs to indicate the mode of appearance whether in person or by advocate. They have also been advised to indicate the name and address of witness to be called before the committee, if any.

Mutira Ward MCA David Kinyua Wangui, who sponsored Waiguru’s impeachment motion, said the Assembly is prepared to meet the committee.

He told People Daily on phone that they have a watertight case against Waiguru and if the committee listens to their evidence with an open mind it will send the governor home.

“I have no doubt that we have a watertight case against our governor and the committee will be shocked by the evidence have. All we are asking for is transparency in the proceedings,” he said.

“We are not doing this with malice but because of many things happening in the county, our governor has totally failed,” the MCA added.

The committee, meanwhile, dismissed claims that it was formed to save Waiguru, saying rules and procedures for the hearing and determination of the proposed removal of the governor as contained in the Fifth Schedule and Senate Standing Orders would apply during proceedings.

The hearing will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday before the committee retreats to write a report for tabling on Friday.

Some 23 out of 23 MCAs voted to impeach Waiguru earlier this month in a motion anchored on violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct.

MCAs and residents, however, faulted  the move to put the matter under committee, saying it was aimed at “sanitising” the embattled county governor.

Meanwhile leaflets calling for mass demonstration from today  to force Waiguru out of office were circulating across the county.

Irregulay payment

The leaflets written in Gikuyu and English languages urged residents to “wake up and reject corruption” in the county.

“ No more corruption, we must come out young and old from tomorrow Tuesday 22/06/2020 to fight four our rights as people of Kirinyaga,we must stop corruption in our county,” a leaflet read.

MCAs have accused Waiguru of deliberately failing to submit county plans and policies to the County Assembly for approval.

She is also accused of using her office to improperly confer a benefit to herself when she was irregularly paid for travel allowances by way of imprests amounting to Sh10.6 million yet she did not travel.

The amount was allegedly paid to her personal account in the name of Anne Mumbi Waiguru held at Equity Bank.

Waigurui s also accused of iregularly awarding a tender to a company associated with her relatives.

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