President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga are in a dilemma over how to tackle the impeachment of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
Uhuru and Raila are faced with the difficulty of allowing Waiguru’s impeachment and lose a reliable handshake crusader or save her and erode their anti-graft credentials.
Seen as the face of the Building Bridges Initiative in Mt Kenya, Waiguru’s impeachment would deal a blow to the BBI campaign.
Until the “BBI reggae” was halted by the coronavirus pandemic, the campaign had elevated Waiguru as a key handshake pillar from Mount Kenya region.
She had become a big player of the referendum push in President Uhuru’s Mt Kenya turf as she joined forces with Kieleweke wing of Jubilee party to fend off anti-BBI forces.
However, on June 9, 23 of Kirinyaga County Assembly’s 33 MCAs voted to impeach the governor over gross-misconduct and abuse of office charges.
The 67-member Senate largely dominated by allies of Uhuru and Raila has 10 days to make a decision after conducting hearings on Waiguru’s removal from office.
This would be the third impeachment motion to be brought to the Senate since the 2017 polls. Senators rejected MCAs impeachment of Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja last year but approved the impeachment of Kiambu’s Ferdinand Waititu in January.
Should the President and the former PM throw their weight behind efforts to save Waiguru, that would expose their soft-underbelly in the war against graft as Uhuru fights for a legacy.
The President has previously promised not to defend any “ally, friend or relative” accused of corruption while Raila’s political history is ridden with strong anti-graft rhetoric.
On Monday, former State House comptroller and ex-Cabinet Minister Franklin Bett warned that Waiguru’s situation portends far-reaching political ramifications for Uhuru and Raila.
“They will burn their fingers. They are in an awkward situation but doomed if they look the other way and save her,” Bett told the Star.
The former Bureti MP suggested that both Uhuru and Raila should stay away from the impeachment motion and allow her to go through the due process without influencing the outcome.