Why Nyeri MPs want action against minister

By: WANJOHI GITHAE

Could the suspension of Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau be the cause of the political noise from Nyeri politicians over corruption allegations against Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru?

Mr Kamau, who was suspended in March alongside colleagues, Mrs Charity Ngilu (Land), Mr Davis Chirchir (Energy), Mr Felix Kosgey (Agriculture), and Mr Kazungu Kambi (Labour), comes from Nyeri where the most vocal Jubilee MPs against Ms Waiguru also come from.

Ms Waiguru hails from neighbouring Kirinyaga County.

Mr Kamau faces corruption charges in court while Ms Waiguru has been recommended as a prosecution witness by anti-corruption investigators engaged in the National Youth Service procurement scandal.

Whereas Mr Kamau has not publicly spoken since being arraigned in court, there is a growing sentiment in Nyeri that he was targeted unfairly.

MPs from the county who have called for the resignation of Ms Waiguru are Mr Kabando wa Kabando (Murkurwe-ini), Mr Kanini Kega (Kieni) and Ms Esther Murugi (Nyeri Town).

Mr Kega says that no matter how long it takes, those who are corrupt will one day account for their crimes.

“We in Nyeri are honest people. That is why we were the first to take up arms against the white man. We like telling it as it is. This issue at NYS is big and everyone must account,” he told the Sunday Nation on telephone.

WHAT IS THERE TO FEAR?

Mr Kega said that by stepping down, Ms Waiguru will ward off any perception that she is corrupt.

He noted that Mr David Mwiraria and Mr Kiraitu Murungi, who were Cabinet ministers in the Mwai Kibaki regime, stepped aside and came back stronger after they were cleared of corruption allegations.

“Perception is more important than reality here. Mr Mwiraria was President Kibaki’s heartbeat and he stepped aside. If a person is innocent, what is there to fear?” he asked.

Mr Kega was philosophical when asked whether Mr Kamau’s predicament was the motivating factor in his crusade. Mr Kamau comes from Kieni constituency.

“It is not about personalities. All we need is uniform application of justice. She will be a stronger and better person if she is cleared when out of office,” he said.

On Friday, Mr Kabando said: “The President knows our position and we trust he supports us because he is incorruptible and has zero tolerance to corruption. I personally informed the CS about my position and reservations before going public.”

The MPs against Waiguru have seen their opponents in the constituencies rise and accuse them of undermining the President.

The fight among Jubilee MPs from Central Kenya had mostly played out on their WhatsApp group, where the pro-Waiguru group last week suggested a radical move- to go after civil servants seen as working with the Opposition, which was vigorously opposed by those who have wanted her to leave office.

But it took a fresh and vicious twist this week, when youths were mobilised in the anti-Waiguru MPs’ home towns to spread the propaganda that the particular MPs were against President Kenyatta.

The tactic, the Sunday Nation was told, was to get the message spread through vernacular radio stations, which are relied upon as sources of information in the region.

The plans didn’t come to fruition in Kieni, Mr Kega’s constituency, but did in Nyandarua, whose Woman Representative, Wanjiku Muhia, has been consistently supporting the bid to have Ms Waiguru leave office.

NO MORAL RIGHT

On Friday, the youths, in a 14-seater van and a pick-up mounted with loudspeakers, made stops in Engineer and Njabini towns to spread that message.

Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua went further in his criticism; “The President has been so supportive to our county, and instead of our leaders supporting him, they are fighting him with a lot vigor just like those from the opposition side, we demand an apology from them.”

But Mukurweini MP Kabando Wa Kabando accuses the governor of ‘witch-hunt and political scavenging’.

“He is a shameless opportunist of Kanu-era type. He thinks he is the barometer against which political loyalty can be measured, he is a mistake for Nyeri,” he said.

He further said Governor Gachagua had no moral authority to lecture him on matters to do with graft.

“His GNU is dead and now he imagines he can be our JAP prefect. Where was he when I mobilised 46 PNU MPs in 2013 to declare that Uhuru must be in the ballot? Where was he when I sponsored and seconded motion to withdraw Kenya from the ICC in last year? He should give us a break,” he said.

His Nyeri Town counterpart Esther Murugi equally did not have kind words for the county boss.

“He has so many problems on his table to waste time misappropriating jubilee leadership. Let him first say where he took Nyeri coffee money.”

SOURCE: DAILY NATION