DIE CAST

Senate signals bid to save Waiguru on day of high drama

Handshake team bulldozes their way despite protestations from Ruto’s wing of Jubilee

In Summary

• The pro-handshake team overwhelmingly voted to establish an 11-member committee to hear the impeachment motion against Waiguru.

• During the debate, the pro-Ruto wing raised fears of a plot to save the embattled governor through the committee.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
Image: FILE

The Senate Tuesday appeared ready to save embattled Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru from impeachment.

On a day of high drama, the senators were split along those supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga and those allied to Deputy President William Ruto.

The pro-handshake team overwhelmingly voted to establish an 11-member committee to hear the impeachment motion against Waiguru.

 
 

During the debate, the pro-Ruto wing raised fears of a plot to save the embattled governor through the committee.

The Ruto team led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen pushed for a plenary to prosecute the impeachment as was the case with former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

When a vote was finally taken, 45 senators voted in favour of the committee, 14 voted against while one senator abstained.

“I therefore direct the committee to commence their work immediately and report back to the House within 10 days,” Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka ruled.

The House business nearly came to a standstill after Minority leader and Siaya Senator James Orengo claimed that there were bigger external forces baying for Waiguru’s blood.

“Waiguru’s head is being asked for not by the County Assembly of Kirinyaga but by other people,” he said.

Orengo said had evidence to prove his remarks.

 
 

But Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika termed the remarks "nonsense and inappropriate".

Orengo cited the biblical story of Salome who danced to Herod and chose John the Baptist's head as a reward. But he came under fire from Tangatanga legislators who shouted him down, bringing the session to a near halt.

“Today some people have danced so well they are not looking for justice they are looking for somebody’s head. Waiguru’s head is not being asked by Kirinyaga assembly but by somebody else and I have the evidence,” Orengo said.

Murkomen accused Orengo of being part of the wider scheme to sanitise Waiguru through the committee.

 

“There is a decision made elsewhere to form a committee to save Waiguru. This committee is a sanitising committee,” Murkomen said.

Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru said the verdict is open secret on the outcome of the committee.

“Nobody is saying that the governor is guilty. What the people of Kirinyaga are saying is that we go plenary. We are not fools and we did not come to Nairobi yesterday. We know what has been happening around,” Kibiru said.

ODM had initially hinted that it could save Waiguru.

National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, a key Raila ally, said the party had resolved to save Waiguru because they believe in women leadership. 

The select team will within 10 days hear from both sides and answer to the allegations and compile a report to the House.

In case the committee finds the allegations substantiated the report is taken back to the House for adoption or rejection.

The impeachment process dies if the committee finds the allegations do not hold water. The report will only be tabled as a formality as there will be no debate.

 

(edited by o. owino)