, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – Kirinyagha Governor Anne Waiguru has dropped a defamation suit against Opposition leader Raila Odinga following a meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Waiguru who had sued Odinga for linking her to the loss of Sh 791 million from the National Youth Service (NYS) during her tenure as Cabinet Secretary for Devolution said she had withdrawn the case in the spirit of “cohesion and reconciliation.”
Following the talks at his Capitol Hill office, Odinga tweeted that they had “agreed to let by-gones be by-gones.”
“We’ve agreed to leave the matter of the NYS scandal in the hands of investigators. She (Waiguru) said her case against me is now settled in the spirit of reconciliation that the nation has embarked on,” Odinga, now African Union Special envoy for Infrastructure Development tweeted.
“We also reviewed the status of devolution in the country and agreed to exchange views frequently on how to address the challenges,” he added.
The governor had in February rejected a bid by Odinga’s lawyer, Paul Mwangi, to appeal a High Court ruling allowing her to conceal her sources of income.
Justice Joseph Sergon had found reasons advanced by Waiguru as to why she had declined to reveal her wealth as challenged by Odinga as satisfactory.
Waiguru sued Odinga in September 2015 after a 21-day ultimatum she gave him to withdraw the allegations he made in June that year lapsed.
The ex-devolution Cabinet Secretary accused Odinga of recklessly tarnishing her name by linking her to the Sh 791 million NYS scandal.
“Odinga’s defamatory words meant that my client uses her uses her position in government to engage in immoral activities. Odinga portrayed her as a woman of low moral standing who’s involved in unethical and professional misconduct,” Waiguru’s lawyer had said in court papers filed at a High Court in Milimani.
“The claims caused her (Waiguru) to suffer immensely as the statement portrayed her as a common thief, an embezzler of public funds, corrupt in the extreme, and a flagrant law breaker who is not fit to hold public office,” Waiguru’s lawyer filed.
Odinga had dared Waiguru to sue him saying he was only voicing what the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had told the country with regards to embezzlement of funds at the NYS.
“The DCI has since confirmed that a lot of money was lost. That means the CS, and I have nothing personal against Madam Waiguru, was involved in a cover-up and conspiracy to subvert the course of justice,” Odinga told the press in response to the lawsuit on September 29, 2015.
Waiguru’s efforts to clear her name gained momentum after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on September 28 indicated that an affidavit sworn by Josephine Kabura – a key suspect in the Sh 791 million NYS scandal who allegedly moved volumes of money in sacks – was misleading.
“EACC together with DCI conducted the investigations and established that the allegations made against the suspects were bereft of truth, were denied in totality and there was no evidence in support of the same,” EACC revealed in a gazette notice.
Kabura who claimed to have been Waiguru’s hairdresser at some point had linked the former CS to the loss of public funds at NYS through irregular payments.