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Waiguru bows to MCAs' pressure, withdraws peace team for talks

Saturday July 04 2020
Waiguru

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru appears before a special committee of the Senate that was formed to investigate her impeachment charges, June 24, 2020. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE MUNENE

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru Saturday bowed to pressure and withdrew the seven-member team formed to reconcile her with ward representatives who wanted her impeached.

Governor Waiguru explained that the names in a peace and reconciliation proposal by the county executive were withdrawn for more discussions.

"Having listened to the feedback on the list and in consideration of the same, we wish to withdraw the names to give room for further consultations," she said in a statement.

Her decision comes after MCAs rejected the team, saying they were not consulted when it was formed.

MEMBERS

The team was expected to oversee the reconciliation process of politicians whose fight has led to slow implementation of development projects in the region.

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Infrastructure Principal Secretary Paul Maringa, his Marine counterpart Nancy Karigithu and Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria were in the list.

Others were Public Service Principal Secretary Mary Kamonye, former PS J.S. Mathenge, former Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner John Njiraini and pastor Charles Ndegwa Mwai.

Contacted for comment, however, the archbishop said he was not aware of the team formed to reconcile the politicians.

"I'm yet to receive communication from the governor. I will wait to see whether anyone will call and tell me about the team," he told the Nation.

Ms Kamonye turned down the appointment.

"I note the proposal by the governor to have me as a member of the team. While I support peace and reconciliation, I regret that as a public servant, I'm constrained from being part of the process. Besides, I left the county 30 years ago. It is my strong opinion that the process will be led by leaders who understand the county issues better," she said.

Professor Maringa said he was in a meeting so he could not comment immediately.

APOLITICAL

Governor Waiguru said those who had been selected to spearhead the reconciliation talks hail from the region and are apolitical and non-partisan.

She earlier said the list followed extensive consultations and that the executive was keen  on service delivery and accomplishing the set development agenda for the next two years.

"We will ensure the expectations and aspirations of the people remain the focus of our programmes and projects so as to move the county higher," she said.

When the MCAs rejected the team, majority leader Kamau Murango said they were taken by surprise.

"We learnt about the team on social media. We are treating its formation as a joke, " he said and challenged the governor to “humble herself and learn to consult MCAS on serious matters”.

Wamumu Ward Representative Baptista Kanga said the list was good but also noted that MCAs were not asked to give their views.

"The problem is that the governor did not deem it fit to involve us when selecting the members, therefore we shall not accept it," Mr Kanga stated.

IMPEACHMENT DISPUTE

Governor Waiguru has been embroiled in a protracted battle with the county’s MCAs since last year.

They impeached her, accusing her of gross violation of the Constitution and undermining the assembly’s authority but she was cleared by the Senate.

Mutira Ward Representative Kinyua Wangui, who moved the motion, also accused the governor of disrespecting MCAs.

The MCAS have vowed to challenge the Sneate’s verdict of the Senate, saying their war with Ms Waiguru is far from over.

They accused the Senate of protecting her despite the existence of evidence to support her removal from office.

Ms Waiguru said the Senate rejected her impeachment process as it did not meet the required threshold.

She attributed her woes to her support for the Building Bridges Initiative and the handshake between Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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