Kirinyaga residents have moved to court seeking to shield former devolution Cabinet Secretary and Jubilee candidate Anne Waiguru from being locked out of their county’s gubernatorial contest.
While seeking to be enjoined as interested parties in another case in which Ms Waiguru had challenged recommendations by the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, the residents claimed that they are worried that the findings might see her being barred from participating in the oncoming elections.
Through lawyer Mwangi Ndegwa, the 102 residents claimed that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) might just use PAC’s recommendations to lock her out of the Kirinyaga gubernatorial race hence deny them their right to freely express their democratic will.
“…the residents are apprehensive that her ethical fitness to contest for the Kirinyaga gubernatorial position may be based on the National Assembly’s erroneous, unlawful and offending report,” Mr Ndegwa said.
In their case, they claimed that Ms Waiguru as a former CS, is a public figure and was duly nominated as a candidate.
They claimed that having Ms Waiguru locked out of the gubernatorial race will consequently violate her right since the findings were made without according her a fair hearing as well as considering public participation as required by law.
They also faulted PAC of taking over the mandate of EACC since it is the body mandated to deal with ethical matters.
And in solidarity with her bid to have PAC’s recommendations suspended, the residents also want the court to halt the implementation of the findings until Ms Waiguru’s case challenging the matter is heard and determined.
They further want the matter considered as urgent and therefore heard on a priority basis.
“There is an urgent need for court to intervene and issue the orders being sought herein,” Mr Ndegwa said.
On May 30, Ms Waiguru moved to court to stop a fresh probe, probable prosecution and a lifestyle audit against her as recommended by PAC and the Auditor-General’s report.
PAC found that she was responsible for the entire loss as a result of failing to exercise leadership effectively hence recommended that she be barred from holding office if found guilty after due process has been done.
But she then sued the National Assembly, the EACC, the Director of Criminal Investigations and the Attorney-General in protest.
She accused PAC of using previous evidence to make its findings and the AG of failing to protect her from unfair administrative action.
The report was tabled before Parliament on March 16, was debated for two subsequent days and on May 24, adopted an initial May 2016 Special Audit report.
The Auditor-General after conducting an audit at the ministry presented a 2012/2013 to 2014/2015 report that saw her asked to appear before PAC to explain on the loss of money at the National Youth Service docket which was under her watch.
Even though several suspects were recommended to face prosecution and have been charged in court regarding the over Sh791million loss, Ms Waiguru was not.
She stepped down from her ministry and claimed that it was due to her doctor’s advice to handle lighter duties.
In her suit, she wants the court to determine whether holding her entirely responsible for the loss of the money without evidence was irrational.