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Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru follows proceedings of her impeachment trial at the Senate on June 24, 2020/CFM

Kenya

Senate to determine Waiguru’s fate on Friday as impeachment hearing concluded

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 25 – Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru will know her fate on Friday when the eleven-member committee of the Senate that was investigating allegations leveled against her by the Kirinyaga County Assembly will table its report.

Speaker Ken Lusaka has already convened the special sitting scheduled to consider the report, which will be tabled by the committee chairman Senator Cleophas Malala of Kakamega.

“The business to be transacted at the sitting shall be the consideration of the report of the special committee on the proposed removal from office, by Impeachment, of Governor Anne Mumbi Waiguru, the Governor of Kirinyaga County,” read part of the Gazette notice issued on Wednesday.

The report from the committee will either uphold the allegations the verdict by MCAs to send her home or reverse it.

If Senator Malala and the team reports that the allegations have not been substantiated, no further action will be taken against her, but if the report substantiates the allegations, the Senate shall vote on the charges.

Waiguru, who is accused of gross misconduct, violating the constitution and conferring a benefit of Sh10 million to herself, only needs the backing of six Senators to survive the axe.

Waiguru’s defense counsel led by senior counsel Paul Nyamodi led a spirited defense discounting the charges facing the former Devolution Cabinet Secretary.

Nyamodi is defending Waiguru alongside Andrew Karani and the Governor’s spouse Kamotho Waiganjo.

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She presented witnesses, among them, Kirinyaga County’s Procurement Chief Joseph Otieno, who dismissed claims that the Governor had appointed her close associates Pauline Kamau and Gichira Wayne to key tender committees to secure her interests.

Another witness, Nominated Jubilee Kirinyaga Member of County Assembly Kepha Muriuki wondered why the impeachment motion was hurried, and even cited the move by MCAs to sleep at the assembly on the eve of the impeachment vote.

“This was a very weighty issues and it was not subjected to public hearings given that this was an issue that needed the Governor who was duly elected by the members of the public to be removed from office,” he said.

When he appeared before the committee on Tuesday, Mutira Ward MCA David Kinyua, who successfully moved the impeachment motion, accused Waiguru of exhibiting dictatorship, when she failed to honour summons to respond to queries.

Kinyua said the move by the assembly to impeach her was the last resort.

The County Secretary, Joe Muriuki, who appeared as the third witness, defended Waiguru against accusations that she had crippled health services in the county.

“I have been in Kirinyaga County for a very long time and I can tell you for a fact that the health services in the county even before the strike were not deplorable as painted, that is incorrect,” he said.

Waiguru is accused of ordering the closure of 20 dispensaries and sacking 400 casual health workers, sparking protests by medics in the county.

Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo however, poked holes into Muriuki’s assessment on the health situation in Kirinyaga county, yet he is not a health professional.

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“As you are not a doctor, I find it not satisfactory that you can give an assessment on the health situation in Kirinyaga county,” he said.

During the submissions, lawyer Nyamodi was categorical that the MCAs were simply on a “fishing expedition” and that they have no case against the Governor.

“The counsel is obviously fishing for evidence and is apparent that whatever evidence they have brought is deficient and he should be discouraged,” he said, of a lawyer representing the County Assembly.

Waiguru denies all the charges levelled against her.

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