Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi Sunday told Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru to step aside to ease the pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has had to defend her.
He spoke as leaders across the country called for the resignation of the CS, who has been summoned by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for questioning over the misuse of funds in her ministry and the agencies that fall under it.
Mr Mudavadi said Ms Waiguru, who has faced public criticism for corruption in the ministry and at the National Youth Service (NYS), should appreciate integrity provisions in the Constitution, and step aside to pave the way for investigations.
“Chapter Six on integrity provides that leaders who are found to have violated its provisions step aside to let investigations take place,” he said during a church service in Kayole, Nairobi.
He urged the CS to read the public mood and do the right thing by stepping aside.
Kenyans were shocked to learn about the extent of corruption in the ministry.
A report presented before a parliamentary oversight committee indicated that prices for television sets were inflated to up to Sh1.7 million, and a pen cost Sh8,700.
Ms Waiguru is under pressure to act like her five colleagues who stepped aside after being accused of corruption.
Some of them have been cleared and are waiting for the President to signal their return.
IS SHE SPECIAL?
The CS, however, has denied claims that she is to blame for the corruption.
Apart from presenting a list of officers allegedly involved in corruption at the NYS to the police, she also asked her accounting officers in the ministry to take the heat.
At the same time, Mr Mudavadi announced he was ready to launch a nationwide campaign for the 2017 elections, adding that he would focus on peace and devolution.
In Kimaeti, Bungoma, Cord co-principal Moses Wetang’ula wondered why the President had failed to reprimand Ms Waiguru, yet other officials had been asked to step aside.
“How special is Waiguru, who cannot be suspended yet she has been implicated in many scandals in her ministry?” he posed.
Another Cord co-principal, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, alleged a cover-up in the Devolution ministry by making Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti the “fall guy”.
“I’m asking the MPs who have appended their signatures on the Motion to send Waiguru home to be firm and not to be swayed to withdraw their signatures,” said the Wiper Party leader.
In Meru, Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, who is also a member of the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, said the Devolution minister had poisoned the ground for the re-election of the Jubilee administration in 2017, and called for her resignation.
“Ms Waiguru and her principal secretary should resign. The President should also dissolve his Cabinet to save the sinking government.”
But in Kirinyaga, Governor Joseph Ndathi criticised Jubilee MPs for ganging up with the Opposition to push for the removal of Ms Waiguru from the ministry.