We’ll conduct fair process, says team probing Waiguru ouster

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Senator Cleophas Malala addresses the press at Parliament Building yesterday after he was elected chair of the special committee on Governor Anne Waiguru ouster. Photo/PD/KENNA CLAUDE

Hillary Mageka and Githinji Mwangi

The 11-member special committee formed to investigate the impeachment of embattled Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has come out to fight off claims that it has been compromised to cleanse the latter of any wrongdoing.

This is even as disgruntled voices are pointing an accusing finger at Opposition chief Raila Odinga of marshalling his troops in the Senate to rescue the governor.

The team yesterday met for the first time since the acrimonious resolution for its formation to decide on its leadership and lay out their calendar for the impeachment hearings.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala was elected unopposed to chair the committee with Nominated senator Abshiro Halake as his deputy.

Addressing a press after the vote, Malala condemned some of his colleagues and members of the National Assembly who have cast aspersion on the team’s capacity to be impartial and instead promised to conduct a fair process.

Stakes high

“We shall be fair and impartial; we know stakes are high. The whole country is watching us. All parties shall be treated equally,” Malala said.

“The membership of this committee is competent and we assure the people of Kirinyaga and the general public that all parties will be treated equally,” he added.

“The only assurance we can give is that the judgment will be fair and we turn to God to give us the wisdom to transact this business,” he added.

During the Tuesday debate, a group of senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen had opposed the formation of the committee arguing that its purpose was to overthrow the will of the people of Kirinyaga as expressed by the MCAs.

Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru accused some of his colleagues of been compromised to vote in certain direction. 

“I don’t want to dwell on the issues, I have undergone since the issue came to the Senate, we are no fools we did not come to Nairobi the other day, we know what has been happening,” Kibiru alleged.

Malala observed that the committee will not be executing its mandate as a combination of political parties but as a whole House.

“Members of the National Assembly cannot micro-manage the Senate. We are different Houses and the Senate is independent of the national Assembly,” he said.

Nominated senator Judith Pareno warned MP against dragging Raila in every small conflict, adding that the party had not held any meeting to take a position on the issue.

She was making reference to comments by  Suna East  MP Junet Mohammed that ODM had resolved to support the  governor.

“Personally, I have not talked to Baba (Raila) in the last four months and therefore claims that we took position is only aimed at undermining the Senate in discharging its mandate,” she said.

Kilifi senator Stewart Madzayo said there is no way the committee will whitewash the governor because some members had integrity to protect. The committee has issued the trial line-up that will see the besieged county chief face off with her accusers – the MCAs.

The ward representatives accuse her of, among others, gross misconduct, violation of the Constitution and abuse of office. The committee has summoned the governor and the county assembly for hearings next week.

Issue summons

“We are issuing summons tomorrow, then we give them three days to make their submissions. Then on Monday we agree on how we are going to conduct the hearing,” Malala said.

 In Kirinyaga, Members reacted with fury over the decision to subject Waiguru to a  committee probe instead of  the plenary.

The assembly member’s termed the Senate as a big impediment to fight against corruption.

 “We take exception the sentiment by James Orengo that some people outside the assembly want governor Ann Waiguru’s head but we want to tell him that he should be advised and the people of Kirinyaga feel insulted by his sentiments,” said Majority leader Kamau Murango.

He said Senate has lost its credibility and it has become a laughing stock for protecting graft suspects.

“I think the leadership of this country has let us down they should now stop telling us about corruption because they are the same people who are in the front line to save Waiguru when everybody knows that she is corrupt,”  said Mutira MCA Kinyua Wangui.

More on National