President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto’s proxy wars are at play in a bid to save Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who is a facing censure motion and possible impeachment
Already, allies of the two leaders have taken strategic positions, firing salvos as they seek to outdo each other in a typical Tangatanga-Kieleweke supremacy battles.
Ruto’s allies from Kirinyaga and Mt Kenya region have come out to back Waiguru’s impeachment and sensationally claim there’s a plot hatched at State House and Jubilee headquarters to save the besieged governor.
Governor Waiguru is a known Uhuru’s loyalist.
Githinji (Gichugu), GK Kariuki (Ndia) and Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici, all allied to the DP, have backed MCAs’ bid to impeach Waiguru.
The ‘lynch mob’ of Kirinyaga MPs has been backed by another vocal Ruto ally from the region, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.
The Ruto allies openly sided with the MCAs, even as they spewed vitriol against Uhuru’s men led by Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju who had sought to remove the Majority leader James Murango for violating the party’s position in pushing Waiguru’s removal.
Kuria first took a swipe at the CS without portfolio, accusing him of overstepping his mandate, rallying MCAs to reclaim their party from handpicked leaders at the Thika Road Jubilee headquarters.
“To all Jubilee MCAs countrywide: The Party HQ will no longer intimidate or blackmail you. Not as long as I live. Enough is Enough. No longer Owner-Occupier mentality in Jubilee. The tenants want their party back,” Kuria said.
“For far too long, the Jubilee Secretariat has been carrying out party affairs with reckless abandon. One would be forgiven for thinking the unelected officials at the Secretariat do own the party. According to our records, the Jubilee Party had not sought from the Registrar of Political Parties an extension of the term of the interim officials. Mr Tuju and his team are therefore in the office illegally.”
Days after Kuria’s scathing statement, Kirinyaga MPs followed with another hard-hitting script, again targeted at the secretary general.
“Hon Murango is not a party appointee; he was elected by the Kirinyaga County Assembly MCAs and only they can remove him in accordance with the County Assembly Standing Orders,” the MPs said in a signed statement.
“He (Tuju) should forthwith stop interfering and intimidating Kirinyaga MCAs from carrying out their oversight role.”
But Tuju, speaking to the Star on the phone, dismissed claims that he is being used by President Kenyatta to save Waiguru. He said the Kirinyaga matter was a disciplinary issue after the Majority leader declined to toe the party line.
He said the party advised Murango to wait until the issues of the coronavirus are over then they revisit the Waiguru issues, which he defied.
“If you defy the party position we deal with you. It doesn’t matter whether it is Waiguru, we did the same to all counties which are answerable to us,” Tuju said.
“They can say everything they want that we are protecting Waiguru, that I have been given money but if we speak to you and you defy us, we deal with you. We did the same thing in Nairobi and we will do it anywhere else.”
On Thursday, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro declined to confirm Kieleweke-Tangatanga wars in Kirinyaga’s leadership wrangles.
But political analyst Joseph Mutua said the happenings in Kirinyaga have little to do with issues facing the county but the 2022 succession politics.
Mutua said the stand by legislators allied to the Deputy President in the situation in the county says it all.
“The governor is very close to the President and has been one of the leaders from Mt Kenya who have vigorously supported the BBI. Since allies of Ruto appear to think that Uhuru may not support Ruto in 2022, they want to loosen the President’s grip of the region,” he explained.
Mutua, while saying it was the wrong time for leaders to engage in such politics because of the Covid-19 pandemic, further said there could be a plot to destroy leaders from Mt Kenya region who are not pro Ruto.
He recalled that Ruto does not have a very good history with Waiguru, especially when she was a Devolution Cabinet Secretary.
Waiguru is facing a myriad of allegations, including gross violation of the Constitution, among others by not delivering the annual State of the County address to the assembly.
The governor is further accused undermining the assembly by not submitting county plans and policies to the assembly for approval and also failing to table an annual report on the implementation status of the county policies and plans.
The governor is also accused of violating the Pubic Procurement and Disposal Act and the Public Finance and Management Act by establishing an irregular Tender Evaluation Committee composed of her partisan staff — Pauline Kamau and Wayne Gichira – who allegedly take direct instructions from her. They alternate as chairpersons of all major Tender Evaluation Committees. contrary to the Constitution to act as conduits to award tenders her preferred bidders.
The governor has dismissed these and other accusations as a witch-hunt.