Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki can now heave a sigh of relief after a group of MPs pushing for her ouster were persuaded to shelf their impeachment motion against her.
The Standard has established that National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale convened a meeting with the MPs who were behind the bid kick out the CS over claims of abuse of office, where an agreement was reached to save her.
By Tuesday evening, at least 166 MPs had signed a petition to impeach the CS for suspending Kenyatta National Hospital Chief Executive Officer Lily Koros.
The Constitution requires at least a third (116) of the 349 Members of the National Assembly to sign an impeachment motion to meet the threshold.
This new development comes in the backdrop of claims that both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto were compelled to personally intervene in the matter, after it emerged that it had the potential of leaving them with an egg on the face.
It was agreed at the meeting that it would be unfair to subject Ms Kariuki to two processes, since the National Assembly Health Committee is investigating the circumstances under which she sent the Kenyatta National Hospital CEO on compulsory leave.
The CS attracted the anger of a section of the legislators after she sent Ms Koros out of office two weeks ago, after doctors at the hospital performed a brain surgery on a wrong patient.
According to CS Kariuki, Koros’s suspension alongside the hospital’s Director of Clinical Services Ben Githae’s, was meant to pave way for investigations on how the mix-up occurred.
On Thursday MPs Cornelly Serem (Aldai) and Hilary Kosgei (Kipkelion West), who were spearheading the impeachment motion against the CS, confirmed they had agreed to let the committee suspend the probe before exploring the next cause of action.
“Yes we have agreed to drop the matter, but we are doing so temporarily until the National Assembly Health committee finishes its probe,” confirmed Mr Serem who added that it will be a waste of time and unfair to put the CS through two processes concurrently.
Mr Kosgei on his part said they would stop at nothing to ensure that the CS was punished for mistreating the KNH boss.
He said they would consider re-starting the petition, if Ms Koros was not reinstated.
“We have only temporarily stopped the process of impeaching Ms Kariuki. We will [resume it] if the KNH CEO is not reinstated to her post after investigations are concluded,” he warned.
CS Kariuki was expected to face the House Health team on Thursday to explain why she suspended Ms Koros. The MPs who wanted her out had even invited colleagues to the session as friends of the committee.