A Fierce exchange of words as Waiguru gets impeached

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 17:17 | By
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

The impeachment of embattled Kirinyaga Governor Anne Mumbi Waiguru has once again exposed the wedge between allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto with the former accusing the latter of selectively playing the gender card.

This is after Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia alleged that Governor Waiguru was impeached because she is a 'strong woman leader'.
A total of 23 out of 33 Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) voted for the impeachment, 4 members abstain while 6 were absent.

In a press statement dated June 10th, CS Kobia regretted that governor Waiguru’s term is being cut short by an impeachment.

“We are disappointed that the governor is being impeached during the fight against COVID-19 which is negatively impacting on social and economic development of the country. I support the common women Agenda (COWA) demand that due process is followed and justice is served,” the CS posted on Twitter.

Her statements were shared by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, a close ally of the President, who said the travesty visited upon Kirinyaga county boss is one of the many crooked ways that PhD machinations are using to pull her down.

“We strongly condemn it. My sister Anne, take heart, hold your head high and continue serving the people of Kirinyaga. You will be vindicated,” Ngilu wrote.

But in a quick rejoinder, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, who is seen a perceived supporter of DP Ruto reprimanded Ngilu saying when Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika was being ousted as Senate Majority Leader, she was silent.

“Her recent utterances aren't about support for women but misplaced loyalty. Waiguru and Susan Kihika are both Jubilee members. So was Governor Waititu and he deserved the same support,” Rigathi purred.

“Waititu was a jubilee member but was abandoned. The vehemence with which people are using to defend Waiguru, shows how much favoritism there is in this country” he added insisting that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

“Waiguru might just be 'more woman' than Cecily Mbarire and Susan Kihika according to her. Just like Waititu's impeachment was upheld by the Senate so should Waiguru's,” he noted.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi shared Rigathi’s statement saying when Waititu was impeached no one sympathized with him, however, when it comes to Waiguru, the President Uhuru’s government assembles all arsenals to defend her just like, they did during the National Youth Service (NYS) Sh1.8 billion scam.

Nevertheless, Homabay Women Representative Gladys Wanga, a close ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga differed saying that as women leaders they take great exception with the purported impeachment of the governor.

“This travesty flies in the face of the law given the court order stopping proceedings. In fact, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe should quarantine MCAs who slept in a single room in violation of COVID rules,” Wanga said in defense of Waiguru.

Wanga alongside Gender Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh and governors Waiguru and Ngilu have been the face of the regional Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rallies that had crisscrossed the country before the break of Coronavirus pandemic.

On May 20, ODM leader Raila Odinga met female leaders including CS Kobia to discuss the post-Covid- 19 recovery programme and gender equity.

During the meeting, the CS said moving forward, women need to be included in leadership and decision-making, in economic empowerment, in peace and security-building.

More Ruto’s supporters fired back terming Waiguru’s defenders as a toxic feminist group defend an alleged thief.

Led by Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the politicians accused CS Kobia of keeping tight-lipped when Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire were being ousted.

The two were ousted as Senate Majority whip and National Assembly Deputy Majority whip respectively.
“Susan Kihika and Cecily Mbarire, Kenyans want to know who you really are. In actual fact are you women or you have been fooling us all along? Murkomen asked.

“CS Kobia you don’t have to do everything to keep your job. Learn something from strong women like Susan and Cecily. He is misusing you,” he added.
Murkomen, who was recently removed as Senate Majority Leader Senator asked the CS to stop being used for political expediency.

On her part, Ms. Kihika asked the CS if a similar letter from to her and Mbarire got lost in the mail.

“Could the Ministry of Gender not be aware that we are women too? Cess, perhaps it’s time for you and me to send Kobia our naked pics then she might stand up for us against the bully too,” the Nakuru Senator tweeted.

“Could the Ministry of Gender not be aware that we are women too? Cess, perhaps it’s time for you and me to send Kobia our naked pics then she might stand up for us against the bully too,” the Nakuru Senator tweeted.

Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi also waded into Waiguru’s issue saying he was elected by popular vote; not affirmative action.

“Elected leaders are evaluated on meritocracy and performance. If you are gender genuine, please issue a Memo to CJ Magara to dissolve Parliament for violating the 2/3 gender rule,” Havi held.

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