By: JUSTUS WANGA
To her supporters, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru has been hounded out of office unfairly, but to critics her resignation was long overdue.
After she announced that she was resigning, her supporters expressed disenchantment claiming she was a victim of her own success.
On Saturday, Cord leader Raila Odinga said Ms Waiguru was operating on borrowed time and called her departure “long overdue.”
“I was among the first people to call for her stepping aside because her name had been removed from the initial list of those the anti-graft body wanted investigated but instead she decided to take me to court,” he said.
Mr Odinga said it is important for leaders to develop a culture of stepping aside to pave way for investigation whenever they are linked to wrongdoing.
“A minister resigned in Korea because a ship sunk yet he was not the captain. He was simply taking responsibility for the unfortunate incident, that is the way we should go,” he said.
The Opposition chief regretted that Ms Waiguru was resigning after destroying careers of junior civil servants in the ministry.
“Look at (Nelson) Githinji (National Youth Service Director General) and (Peter) Mangiti (Devolution Principal Secretary), they are being charged for non-existent charges like obstructing their subordinates; how can you obstruct your subordinate, I mean who is the boss here, you or your junior?”
But to Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, a man who has been pushing for Ms Waiguru’s impeachment, her resignation was godsend.
“God has started intervening and this is a sign of good things to come. We cannot afford to have a reputation as some of the most corrupt people in the world and public officials accused of condoning or committing graft sit comfortably in office,” he said.
Mr Keter said wrestling Ms Waiguru had become hard with President Uhuru Kenyatta coming to her defence.
“I am now praying to God to touch President Kenyatta’s heart to fight corruption with the required zeal and to the Speaker Justin Muturi who has been blocking attempts to hold Ms Waiguru to account. He must start behaving like a neutral arbiter in the House business and not a partisan player he has distinguished himself to be,” he said.
The impeachment motion now dies.
Cord leader Kalonzo Musyoka said progressive forces had finally triumphed, adding they will not relent in their anti-graft campaign until they are satisfied that public resources are being used prudently.
“That Jubilee is engulfed in systemic corruption is not in dispute and whereas I have nothing personal about Waiguru, I must say she has finally accepted that the role was too heavy for her given the loss of funds in massive scale under her watch,” he said.
He also accused her of being used by Jubilee to scuttle the Opposition.
“She was being used to reward the renegade Cord MPs though the huge allocations to her docket. In fact, with her resignation, we will now be demanding for the scrapping of the ministry so those funds can be channelled to counties,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula said the minister threw in the towel after causing Jubilee irreparable damage.
“She has finally done what she should have done months ago after damaging President Kenyatta’s image and causing him agony, pain and humiliation. Obstinacy, imprudence, arrogance and intransigence have no place in public service,” Mr Wetang’ula said.
SADDENED BY RESIGNATION
Kirinyaga Governor Joseph Ndathi, where Ms Waiguru is a constituent, expressed disappointment at the turn of events.
“We are saddened by the resignation. The reasons are not clear,” he said.
He asked President Kenyatta to appoint a person from the county as her replacement.
“Kirinyaga has no shortage of human resource capital. We have educated our sons and daughters to the highest level and they also have experience,” he said.
One of Ms Waiguru’s fiercest defenders, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, said: “Mob justice has pushed an innocent hardworking woman into health problems. I wish her good health. Health is important than anything else, family is also important. The people who have hounded her out of office will carry this guilt to the grave,” he said.
Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi, who wanted Ms Waiguru to vacate office, welcomed the resignation.
“She is a professional and, therefore, has a life outside government. Whether she is guilty or not that will be ascertained through investigations. If she returns, she will come as a hero because of the bold step she has taken. However, if the opposite happens, the law should take its course,” he said.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION