CORD pressures Uhuru to sack Waiguru over alleged graft

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru
The Opposition continued to pile pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru over alleged corruption in her ministry.

Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga Sunday led three senators, a governor and two members of the National Assembly in demanding that President Kenyatta be just in the fight against graft.

Speaking at Kitoben AGC Church in Kipkelion, Kericho County, Mr Raila challenged Uhuru to put the interest of the country first. He said he would continue to push for a national referendum to change the Constitution, adding that devolution was under threat from a clique of leaders out to frustrate its full implementation.

"I will be presenting signatures to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for the Okoa Kenya initiative in Nairobi because I believe that with strong devolved governments, we stand a chance to end the looting and misuse of public funds," he said.

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Raila was hosted by Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto at a church that was founded by Mr Ruto's father, the late Paul Tirop. Before his death two years ago, Mr Tirop had requested Raila to help in completing construction of the church. The former premier was accompanied by Senators Johnstone Muthama (Machakos), James Orengo (Siaya) and John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and Rose Nyamunga (Kisumu Woman Rep).

Raila said he would work with Ruto to ensure that counties get at least 45 per cent of the national resources.

He announced that CORD would begin countrywide rallies to push for a referendum after presenting the signatures to the IEBC today. Ruto vowed not to relent on his push for full implementation of devolution, saying it was the only way out of the current crisis facing the country.

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He said the country was at a cross-roads due to poor leadership, adding that the Jubilee government must learn how to treat all Kenyans equally.

"Kenyans are suffering due to poor leadership. As leaders we have failed wananchi. We must address the challenges facing the nation as one instead of applying double standards when dealing with issues like corruption.

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Mr Muthama accused the Government of practising double standards in the fight against corruption.

"There are a host of Government officers led by Cabinet secretaries Felix Kosgei, Charity Ngilu, Davis Chirchir, Kazungu Kambi among others who were accused of being corrupt and forced to step aside," he said.

"Ironically, the same Government has decided to retain Ms Waiguru who had been accused of mega corruption through procurement of overpriced commodities such as pens which cost Sh8,700, television sets which cost Sh1.7 million. The Government has lost over Sh800 million and it is doing nothing about it," he added.

He reminded Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto that Kenyans expect justice and equality.

"Until the Government allows Kenyans to enjoy justice and equality for all, members of the Opposition will not be quiet about the ills of the Jubilee government," Muthama said.

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He also accused the Jubilee of being authoritarian and launching a crackdown on members of the Opposition for daring to criticise the Government.

Mr Orengo wondered why the Jubilee government lacked the will to take action against Waiguru and instead prefer to blame her juniors.

"Why are some individuals allowed to siphon the country's resource and attempts made to force juniors to take the blame? Why are attempts being made to blame the Devolution Principal Secretary?" he asked.

Mr Gumbo accused Uhuru and his deputy of abandoning Kenyans to pursue personal and business interests. Prof Lonyangapuo said the Jubilee government boat had hit an iceberg.

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Anne WaiguruUhuru KenyattaRaila Odingacorruption