6 Senators needed to save Waiguru

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. PHOTO | COURTESY

Embattled Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Mumbi Waiguru on Tuesday survived the first hurdle in her ouster attempt after the Senate, in an acrimonious sitting, voted to prosecute the impeachment motion through a select committee and not a plenary session.

In a sitting characterized by fiery exchanges and a barrage of points of order, 45 senators voted in favor of a committee while 14 preferred a plenary hearing, similar to the one that sent the then Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu home.

Waiguru now needs the support of only six out of 11 senators, who meet today to select the chair, to keep her governor’s job.

The proposal to establish the 11-member committee to investigate grounds raised by Kirinyaga Members of County Assembly (MCAs) last week when they resolved to impeach the governor was always fodder for an action-packed afternoon session in the Senate.

Claims of a pre-determined outcome, a grand plan to save Waiguru, handshake politics and the 2022 arithmetic sparked fury.

In a clear shifting of sides, Senators who supported the establishment of a House committee to hear Waititu’s impeachment in January pushed for a plenary session to try Waiguru.

Kirinyaga Parliamentarians and MCAs had petitioned the Senate to go the plenary route, citing fears of committee members being compromised.

The County Governments Act provides that if at least 6 out of 11 members of the select committee do not find any merit in the allegations against the governor, she will escape the axe.

The 11-member team is composed of:

  1. Sen. Abshiro Halake
  2. Sen.Michael Mbito
  3. Sen. Mwangi Paul Githiomi
  4. Sen. Beth Mugo
  5. Sen. Anuar Loitiptip
  6. Sen. Philip Mpaayei
  7. Sen. Cleophas Malalah
  8. Sen. Beatrice Kwamboka
  9. Sen. Stewart Madzayo
  10. Sen. Judith Pareno
  11. Sen. Moses Kajwang’