The acquittal of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru of impeachment charges by the Senate has given critics of President Uhuru Kenyatta new ammunition to attack his legacy agenda and the government’s resolve to fight corruption.
Governor Waiguru, a former powerful Cabinet minister perceived to be close to President Kenyatta, survived the two-day impeachment trial after an 11-member Senate Committee ruled that the county assembly—her accusers—had failed to prove any of the charges against the governor.
In her final remarks before the Senate Committee on June 24, Ms Waiguru sought to link her impeachment to political proxy wars because of her loyalty to President Kenyatta and support for his constitutional reforms agenda under the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
But Ms Waiguru’s acquittal, coming weeks after President Kenyatta orchestrated changes to the ruling Jubilee Coalition’s leadership in parliament and senate, has entrenched the perceptions that a friendly committee had been set up to undertake a whitewash for political reasons regardless of the validity of allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
The pro-Ruto camp in the senate opposed the establishment of a committee to handle the impeachment against Ms Waiguru, arguing for a plenary hearing similar to the one that removed former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu from office in January.