Senate likely to drop Governor Waiguru impeachment over ‘insufficient’ evidence

Senate likely to drop Governor Waiguru impeachment over ‘insufficient’ evidence

The Senate Select Committee was spent the better part of Thursday in a day long meeting at a Nairobi hotel, to write and adopt its report, after two days of legal muscle flexing between legal teams representing Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and her accusers, the County Assembly.

And hours before the committee chaired by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala presents its report to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, ahead of the Special House sitting on Friday, sources indicate Waiguru has survived the axe.

A majority of committee members were of the opinion that though serious allegations had been made against the Governor, the County Assembly did not provide evidence directly linking her to alleged corruption, abuse of office and violation of procurement regulations.

According to a source in the Select Committee, a recommendation has been made, inviting the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to delve deeper into the allegations, and using their forensic expertise, identify culprits for prosecution.

The County Assembly had claimed Waiguru ran a complex criminal enterprise, through her close allies, to influence the award of tenders worth millions of shillings, even claiming she was playing her cards cleverly to conceal traces of evidence.

The committee, according to a source, has concluded that some of the allegations against the governor were administrative challenges, that did not meet the threshold for her removal through impeachment.

She has claimed her woes were politically instigated, with the Building Bridges Initiative and handshake politics at play.

With at least three more governors lined up for impeachment, the Senate Select Committee, according to the source, is recommending additional time for committees from the current 10 days, to enable members peruse through volumes of evidence presented by litigants.

Some members recommending the inclusion of officers from EACC and DCI as ex-officio members of the committee to guide committees in impeachment proceedings.

According to the County Governments Act, Section 33(6a), if particulars of any allegation have not been substantiated, the impeachment motion will collapse at the committee stage, with no further debate in the senate plenary. And if any allegation is proven, the Governor will fight to keep her job, with a majority vote in the house.

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has convened a special sitting tomorrow in the afternoon, for Malala’s committee to present its report.