ODM leader Raila Odinga continued to defend himself on Monday over reports that he is working behind the scenes to save besieged Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
Addressing members of the press on Monday morning, the former Prime Minister said the Senate which is expected to hear the Waiguru impeachment this week should decide on the embattled county boss’ fate based on facts tabled before the house.
“The Senators should carry out the mandate independently. I don’t need to save anyone. Let someone defend themselves based on the facts presented,” said Odinga.
Odinga was speaking after receiving his coronavirus-free certificate a day after undergoing test for the novel coronavirus disease at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Mbagathi.
Odinga’s remarks on “Senate independence”, however, raise serious questions as they contradict those of National Assembly minority whip Junet Mohamed who said yesterday that ODM, as a party, will vote to save Waiguru from being impeached when the matter comes before the House on Tuesday.
Junet, a vocal Raila ally and ODM’s Director for Elections, said Waiguru’s impeachment was out of malice adding that powerful individuals were keen to bring her down simply because she is a woman.
“There are some people out there who do not believe that women can also lead, but as ODM we believe in leadership by women and we want to give them equal opportunity. We have witnessed women leading well in the government and they need to be supported, ” Junet said when he visited flood victims in Bandi, Garsen Constituency,
The Suna East MP further told off a section of Kenyans criticizing Odinga over an alleged night meeting between Odinga and Waiguru saying there is absolutely no problem if the two met.
Earlier, Odinga had denied the reports that he held a meeting with Waiguru on Thursday night.
Sunday Nation reported that Odinga met with Waiguru on the evening of Thursday, June 11, at a fancy club in Karen with the main agenda being to rally his troops in the Senate to dismiss a move by Kirinyaga MCAs to impeach her.
The paper reported that Waiguru arrived for the meeting a few minutes before 7pm and was joined by Raila a few minutes later.
The meeting reportedly lasted for more than two hours, ending shortly past 9 p.m.
The lead story on the paper that elicited criticism over Odinga’s role in sanitising corrupt individuals at his Capitol Hill office indicated that the duo was joined by Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and his Nyeri counterpart Mutahi Kahiga.
While dismissing the story as false, Odinga, however, noted that on the said date and time he had a meeting with Laikipia Women Representative Catherine Waruguru in the company of some members of Parliament.
Odinga said the meeting with Waruguru had nothing to do with Waiguru’s woes.
“No such meeting with Ms. Waiguru or the other governors, James Nyoro of Kiambu and Mutahi Kahiga of Nyeri took place as reported in the Sunday Nation. I also wish to make it clear that there does not exist any Senate Committee to investigate governor Waiguru and whose members from ODM I have instructed to save the governor as reported in the Nation Sunday,” said Odinga.
Even as Odinga denies reports of a scheme to save Waiguru, a section of Jubilee leaders in the Tanga Tanga camp claim Odinga and Uhuru intend to use pro-handshake and BBI Senators to quash the impeachment.
Odinga was once Waiguru’s fiercest critic when she was named in the multimillion National Youth Service (NYS) Scandal then serving as Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning during Jubilee’s first term in office. She resigned in 2015, joined politics and was elected Governor in 2017.
They have since united and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pet project, Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), brought them even closer.
23 MCAs voted last Tuesday to impeach Waiguru on grounds of gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct. Four abstained. Six members were absent from the session.