Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu's troubles are far from over after residents began an initiative aimed at kicking him out of office.
A lobby group calling itself Okoa Kiambu yesterday started collecting signatures, which are tied to a petition to oust the embattled county boss.
Okoa Kiambu coordinator Hoswell Kinuthia said the move was informed by a court decision to bar Waititu from office because of an ongoing corruption case against him.
Speaking after launching the exercise in Kiambu town, Mr Kinuthia claimed service delivery in the county was almost grinding to a halt due to the governor's absence.
“Things are bad on the ground. Hospitals have no medicine and key services are not being provided. Things cannot continue like this and a solution must be found quickly to seal the loophole created by the power vacuum,” said Kinuthia.
He said the group is targeting to collect 200,000 signatures in all the 60 wards in the county after which they will forward the petition to ward representatives for debate and consideration.
“We have collected about 50,000 signatures and it is our hope that our petition will see the light of day once we take it to the County Assembly. We are appealing to members of the county assembly to support the petition once it comes to the assembly for the sake of the people."
Lobby group member Wanja Wagichungumwa urged resident to turn out in large numbers and append their signatures to the petition.
Waititu has been out of office since July after he was charged over a Sh588 million irregular tender award.
The governor was charged alongside his wife, Susan Wangari Ndung’u and six other Kiambu County officials.
Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi released Waititu on a Sh15 million cash bail. His wife was released on a cash bail of Sh4 million.
Mr Mugambi ordered the governor to stay away from his office and to deposit all his travel documents in court.
The magistrate's orders came two weeks after Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that just like other civil servants, governors should step aside once charged with criminal offences and their roles taken over by their deputies for the duration of the trial.
Deputy Governor James Nyoro has been the acting governor since his boss was barred from stepping foot in the county headquarters.
But Dr Nyoro's attempts to run the county have faced obstacles because he does not have executive powers.
The deputy governor is facing a petition filed at the Constitution and Human Rights Division of the High Court by a resident, Bernard Chege Mburu, who is seeking to have him barred from exercising executive authority in Waititu's absence.
Nyoro has, however, filed a cross-petition in court detailing why he ought to be granted executive powers to run the county.