Senate saves Waiguru from impeachment,rejects calls for her removal
Governor Anne Waiguru has survived perhaps one of the greatest challenges of her short political life after the Special Committee of the Senate cleared her of culpability over impeachment charges levelled against her by members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly.
The committee, however, found her guilty adopting a domineering attitude in the management of the county affairs.
The committee said, while it is open to the governor to indulge in less important activities, it is an uninspiring and disturbing picture when she cannot find time to appear before the county assembly to present the annual State of the County Address.
“The condescending attitude of the governor towards the county assembly is uncalled for and does not inspire confidence and trust in the county executive leadership,” the report states.
It adds: “The governor appears to require to be reminded of the high calling of her office and the responsibilities of leadership as set out under Article 73 in the Leadership and Integrity Chapter of the Constitution.
In its report tabled in the House on Friday afternoon, the committee found that the allegation on conferring a personal benefit was proved but adds that it does not amount to an impeachable offence.
“From the evidence adduced, the committee established administrative malaise in the management of imprests in Kirinyaga County,” the committee, chaired by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala said.
However, the committee assailed the county assembly for listing twelve imprests paid to the governor and alleging that she was issued with imprest but never travelled or surrendered.
“The county assembly only prosecuted two of the alleged travels. The governor adduced evidence of the travel and where travel was not undertaken, the imprest was surrendered later,” the report adds.
The committee observes that accounting officers must adhere to the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 which require imprests to be surrendered with seven days and in the event of delay, the refund should be made with interest.
“The committee finds that the allegation of the governor conferring herself a benefit was proved but does not amount to an impeachable offence,” she said.
The committee notes that the impeachment process is not a panacea for all incidents of maladministration or criminal conduct and it recommends that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigates some of the allegations and take appropriate action within sixty days and report to the Senate on action taken.
“Where allegations are made of a criminal nature, it may be the case that while the Committee has neither the time nor the resources to make a conclusive finding, the matter is nevertheless serious in nature and may require the relevant organs of Government to pursue.”
By IBRAHIM ORUKO