Leave Waiguru alone, Uhuru tells Keter over ouster bid

By: WYCLIFF KIPSANG

President Uhuru Kenyatta has told outspoken Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter to stop antagonising Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.

The President was addressing North Rift leaders during a closed-door meeting at the Eldoret State Lodge on Sunday.

Mr Kenyatta told Mr Keter, who has been pushing for the CS’s impeachment, to “stop creating unnecessary disturbance” in his government.

Journalists were locked out of the meeting that started at around 6pm, but sources who attended the session told the Daily Nation that a tough-talking President Kenyatta asked Mr Keter, who skipped the meeting, to stop interfering with his administration.

“He warned Mr Keter against his move to impeach Ms Waiguru, saying it was aimed at undermining his government,” said one of the sources, who preferred not to be named.

A number of sources said President Kenyatta pointed out that the MP was not consulted when Ms Waiguru was appointed and, therefore, his demands to have her dismissed were not welcome.

“Tell him (Mr Keter) to use the Constituency Development Fund to develop his constituency and stop meddling in government affairs, because no one has consulted him on the issue,” the President is said to have told the leaders drawn from Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo-Marakwet and Trans Nzoia counties.

The meeting was attended by MPs, governors, senators, members of county assemblies, religious and other opinion leaders from the region.

But in a rejoinder yesterday, Mr Keter, who was conspicuously missing from the leaders’ meeting, told the President to stop harassing him and allow him to perform his oversight role.

“The President’s claims that I was not consulted over the appointment of Ms Waiguru as Cabinet secretary are not only laughable, but ridiculous,” said Mr Keter.

“He should be reminded that as Parliament, we debated Ms Waiguru’s appointment and approved her,” he said.

He went on: “I don’t expect a person of the President’s stature to discuss my individual character in public. He should concentrate on his executive roles and leave Parliament to play its oversight role. We will not accept to be used as rubber stamps.”

Mr Keter, who has been pushing for Ms Waiguru’s removal from office over corruption in the National Youth Service (NYS), which has seen the loss of Sh791 million, vowed to “fight to the bitter end” to ensure that the minister is removed.

The NYS falls under Ms Waiguru’s ministry.

“She should do the honourable thing and step aside to give independent bodies a chance to investigate her,” he said.

“If she is indeed innocent, she will get back her Cabinet job. Her continued stay in the ministry will jeopardise investigations,” said Mr Keter.

The lawmaker last week resubmitted an impeachment Motion against Ms Waiguru.

The CS has stayed put and defended herself against the corruption claims.

Last week, Mr Keter accused National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi over what he said was an attempt to shield Ms Waiguru by demanding additional documents to approve the impeachment Motion.

He claimed that Mr Muturi was doing this following pressure from State House, a claim the speaker denied.

The President and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, have been on a two-day tour of the North Rift region, where they sought to assure residents that the formation of the Jubilee Alliance Party would not see them lose political identity.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION