The Kirinyaga Senator, Charles Kibiru says he will be seeking to have the House Standing Orders amended to make future impeachments against governors always be heard and determined by the whole House.
Kibiru said the current standing orders were denying voters their democracy whenever a Senate select committee was to solely determine the impeachment process, adding that it led to suspicion and mistrust.
“Presently when an 11 member select committee is set up to hear and determine an impeachment, it is subject to manipulation and control by forces within and outside the Senate,” he claimed.
Kibiru also said he was opposed to the 11-man select committee appointed by the House Chief Whip, Irungu Kang’ata to hear and determine governor Waiguru’s impeachment.
“When 11 out of the 47 Senators lock themselves in a room to determine the fate of a county governor, anything is possible due to the small number and i am going to table a motion to reverse this abnormality soonest possible,” he said.
Addressing the media at a Makutano hotel on Sunday, Kibiru said he was joining other leaders from the county in demanding that Waiguru’s case be heard at the plenary in full glare of television cameras and live Radio coverage.
Legislators who accompanied Kibiru during the media briefing were Munene Wambugu (Kirinyaga Central), Mwea’s Kabinga Wachira and his Gichugu counterpart, Gichimu Githinji. They however said only the 47 elected senators would be able to vote if the matter is handled at the plenary.
“The 20 nominated Senators can only ask questions to the charged governor if the matter is handled at the plenary but can have no voting power,” he clarified.
The four legislators issued a joint statement demanding Kirinyaga residents would want nothing short of plenary proceedings against the embattled governor.
According to Wambugu, even at the County Assembly the impeachment motion led by the Mutira MCA, Kinyua wa Wangui was heard at the plenary and supported by a majority.
Both Wachira and Githinji told Kangata to read the mood on the ground, adding “In order for our people to have trust and for the sake of transparency, let Waiguru face the whole house at the plenary and if she is vindicated we will accept the outcome and if convicted as per the charge sheet presented by the MCAs then she will have no alternative than to pack up and go,” Wachira said.
Separately, the area Women Representative, Wangui Ngirichi has made a similar call that the governor should be tried at the plenary.
She claimed she had witnessed a parliamentary select committee get compromised since it comprises of just a few legislators unlike the plenary.
Ngirichi has urged Kang’ata to drop the names of the 11-member select committee and revert to the plenary or else he will face the wrath of Kirinyaga residents whose resources have allegedly been stolen.
Meanwhile, the Episcopal Alliance of Kenya, local Chapter has echoed similar sentiments over the Waiguru impeachment.
Through its Chairperson, Bishop David Mugwimi, the Chapter wants nothing short of the plenary for the purpose of transparency and accountability.
The Senate Majority Whip, Irungu Kanga’ta when contacted however, rubbished claims that he has been mobilizing support for an 11-member team for the Governor Anne Waiguru impeachment proceedings.
According to him, it is the Senate Business Committee that made the proposal during a meeting on Friday afternoon.
“It is the House that makes the decision and whatever decision will be rendered on Tuesday will be a fair and just decision that ensures justice for the Governor of Kirinyaga and the MCAs who initiated the impeachment process,” Kang’ata said
He reiterated that the Senate is not swayed by extraneous issues such as politics or money as its decisions are based on evidence.
The committee is expected to present the order paper during the preliminary sitting on Monday to decide how Waiguru’s case will be heard.
By Irungu Mwangi