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A day after the impeachment of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, several women leaders have criticised members of the County Assembly of Kirinyaga, accusing them of failing to value women leadership.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Cabinet Secretary Prof Magrate Kobia, and Kitui Governor Charity are some of the women leaders who have opposed the impeachment, saying it is an ill-motive meant to cut-short Waiguru’s tenure as among the few elected women leaders in the country.
Anne Waiguru, the one among the two remaining female elected governors, has received backing, a day after she was impeached by MCAs in her county.
Waiguru, a close confidant of President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, was ousted over accusations of:
1. Gross misconduct by seeking over Ksh10.6 million payments for non-existent travels,
2. Failing to improve roads, blocked the modernisation of Wanguru Stadium and sabotaged senior national officers from carrying out their work in the county.
3. Waiguru who served as Devolution CS in Uhuru’s first term, was also accused of procuring a Ksh5 million official vehicle using funds meant for Contractors Retention Account and thus misappropriating public funds despite the same having been done by her predecessor Joseph Ndathi.
Professor Margaret Kobia, the CS incharge of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs has however defended her, saying those keen on cutting short Governor Waiguru’s tenure in office do not value strong women leadership.
In a statement, Kobia said ‘“Governor Anne Waiguru’s term is being cut short by an alleged impeachment, this is an indicator that some of us do not value strong women leadership.”… and also questioned the timing of the vote to impeach the Governor saying the country is currently dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which is negatively impacting social economic development of the country.
She has demanded that due process be followed saying that she fully supports the Common Women Agenda (COWA).
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, has also defended her colleague, saying “the travesty visited upon Waiguru is one of the many crooked ways that PhD machinations are using to pull her down…”
It should be remembered that Waiguru and Ngilu are the only remaining first female governors in the new constitution dispensation following the death of second Bomet Governor, Joyce Laboso in July 2019.
Homabay Women Rep Gladys Wanga has as well dismissed the Waiguru impeachment, saying women leaders are not in support of the ouster.
However, even though Kirinyaga MCAs didi their part, it’s their defiance to the court order that barred them from tabling Waiguru’s impeachment motion that could return to haunt the assembly.
Also possibilities of the Senate Assembly vindicating Waiguru are high, given that the House is dominated by pro-Building Bridges Initiative troops allied to Raila and Uhuru. Waiguru is a key proponent of the BBI and is seen as a major player from Central Kenya in President Kenyatta’s 2022 succession.