Another impeachment looms as Kawira fallout with deputy, Linturi, Kathuri, MPs and MCAs

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s goose looks to be cooked after an escalation of a bitter fallout with top Meru leaders.

The Meru Governor survived impeachment in December last year after a Senate special committee found that none of the 62 charges that were leveled against her had been substantiated, a case that forced President William Ruto and his Rigathi Gachagua to seek a truce among the Meru leaders.

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza

President Ruto and his deputy’s efforts to stem a fallout in Meru County’s political leadership appear to have failed to yield fruit as a new row between Governor Mwangaza and her fellow Meru leaders burst out.

The row between Mwangaza and her fellow leaders reached a boiling point after the Meru Governor said rivals she beat in the 2022 elections are yet to come to terms with their defeat during a prayer meeting attended by President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua at Laare a week ago.

“Some cartels of 10 people earning Sh500,000 and Sh1 million cannot have the control of determining when there is trouble in Meru. We don’t have any problem as a county but the only issue is that my opponents are yet to accept that the governor is a woman,” Ms Mwangaza who has also fallen out with his deputy said during the meeting, a statement that has not gone well with the MPs, Senator and CS linturi who contested for the gubernatorial seat during last year elections.

Mwangaza has also been engaged in a bitter leadership brawl with his deputy governor an incident that led to chaos during a recent Okolea program rally at Makiri in Igembe South where the DG hails from

The political temperature in Meru County seemed to be more heated yesterday during an event presided over by CS Kithure Kindiki to install a new Deputy County Commissioner at Kiengu Sub-county in Igembe Central. Hundreds of thousands of residents who attended the event chatted ‘Mwangaza out’ songs and forced the members of parliament who spoke to declare their statement against the Meru governor.

The unexpected incident turned the event into a political rally with MPs calling on MCAs to oust the governor forcing the interior CS to call for an end to chaotic politics in the County.

The event was attended by various Meru MCAS, Senator, and all the Meru MPs except Tigania West MP John Mutunga who had an apology

Meru MPs led by their caucus chairperson Mugambi Rindikiri unanimously castigated the governor for abusing them during the President’s function at Laare calling on MCAs to oust her.

Meru MPs Caucus leader Mugambi Rindikiri

“She referred us to be the cartels and enough is enough. Her goose is cooked,” Rindikiri said.

“One finger cannot kill a louse, you cannot operate the County as a lone ranger and succeed,” Meru Woman Representative Elizabeth Kailemia said after residents who attended the rally forced her to declare her stand over the embattled Meru Governor

Igembe North MP Julius Taitumu told off Governor Mwangaza for allegedly terming the MPs as cartels noting that they have cut off their support for the Meru Governor.

Igembe South MP John Paul noted that Meru leaders need to be united to benefit from the national cake pointing a blame finger at the Meru governor for playing divisive politics.

“I am a very peaceful person even when provoked but I won’t allow people to come and insult me in my region. What happened in Igembe South is because someone decided to ignore the security alarm and warning she was given against visiting the region by security officers. We need to be united for us to get developments in our County and that is why we as the Meru MPs are united,” MP Paul said.

“Nine MPs cannot be wrong while one person is right. We call upon the Meru people to support our move because we don’t want anyone to be left behind in this transition,” Imenti South MP Shadrack Mwiti said.

Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi criticized the governor’s ‘okolea project’ terming it a sham noting that people need more visible developments such as water projects, and better roads among many others.

“We are not fighting anyone all we need is equality in matters pertaining to developments. We are calling for better roads, hospitals, and water and not mattresses and gumboots,” Mpuru added

Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi castigated the governor for not heeding on her call to seek for a truce with her deputy noting that this has escalated the row.

Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi

“It is very unfortunate that she is fighting everyone including her own deputy instead of focusing on developments. Meru County has now become a laughing stock among other Counties. The Senate is crying because of this and we are ready to do what we can to oversee peace in Meru County,” Kathuri who is also the Senate Deputy Speaker said hinting at an upcoming impeachment.

Mwangaza has also been dealt a blow after the Interior Cabinet Secretary CS Kithure Kindiki banned her anticipated ‘Okolea program’ rally that was expected to take place in Imenti Central.

 “I have heard from various media stations that there are people planning to hold a political rally to incite residents. Such a meeting has been banned from taking place. Let no one dare me,” Kindiki said warning political leaders from inciting residents to cause chaos.

“No leader in the Country will be allowed to hold rallies to incite Kenyans, or political meetings that will lead to chaos,” the CS warned.

CS Kindiki castigated Mwangaza’s political camp for harassing journalists, provoking and abusing other leaders an incident that he claimed led to chaos.

“We will not allow anyone to pretend to be politicking while using poor citizens to cause chaos. Any leader found culpable of the Sunday chaos will be prosecuted. I call on all leaders involved to record their statement with police,” he said

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi who has been dubbed as Meru Kingpin, speaking elsewhere, called on Members of the Meru County Assembly to take necessary legal action against the Meru governor lambasting her for picking fights with her fellow leaders at the expense of developments.

CS Mithika Linturi

“Instead of allowing our County to suffer due to the interest of a single person I call on MCAs to take necessary actions as per the constitution. They have the key to help us eject her out of the office,” Linturi said at the Karen Hospital while visiting the Meru Deputy Governor who was admitted over an illness.

Linturi cited Nakuru and Laare incidents where Meru leaders led by Mwangaza clashed in front of President Ruto and his Deputy terming it a shame.

“I was very ashamed when they clashed in my presence in front of the president and his deputy instead of demanding for developments. She later abused leaders during a meeting presided by the president at Laare before later taking an abusive rally to his deputy’s background and later accused me falsely,” Linturi said.

The CS rubbished claims that the Meru governor will be rescued by the deputy president who has been rumored to summon Mwangaza and her deputy in a bid to seek a truce.

“I don’t think the deputy president can support criminals or go against the Meru people’s wish. Meru County is bigger than all of us and I will go as per the people’s wish” Linturi said.

Linturi criticized Governor Mwangaza for being unthankful noting that he has been supporting her including during her impeachment.

“I attended her inauguration and pledged my support and we even came through for her during the impeachment saga. She is unthankful and seems to be unwilling to work with anyone. I have been feeling embarrassed by the political situation in Meru where I hail from. Incidents at Maua that led to chaos were the epitome of the problems in Meru County,” CS Linturi said.

“As a CS I have a region where I hail from and there are various projects that my department has advertised including boreholes to be drilled and dams among others however under a toxic relationship with the governor it will be hard to deliver this,” Linturi added.

Ms Mwangaza defeated her predecessor Kiraitu Murungi and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi at the August 9, 2022 poll, in what many thought was a surprise victory but which had been predicted a few weeks to the election.

Just three months into office, Ms Mwangaza survived an ouster attempt at the Senate on December 30, 2022 after the county assembly voted to impeach her over claims that she was overstepping her mandate and refusal to award the ward development fund.

Pundits believe it is this impeachment that put Ms Mwangaza at loggerheads with her deputy Rev Isaac Mutuma, with the governor accusing him of siding with her enemies.

Ms Mwangaza won the election riding on her work with the poor stricken masses in the rural areas whereas a woman rep from 2017, she ran a campaign to help the poor by giving them simple items such as mattresses and gum boots and removing jiggers from their feet.

Her husband Murega Baichu broadcast the program dubbed “Okolea kaana ka Meru” (save the Meru child) on their Baite TV channel, propelling the Baite Fellowship Bishop into the limelight.

The governor who is at loggerheads with the Meru leaders seems to be on a frying pan again a year since his election.

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