In the impeachment hearing for former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu at the Senate on Wednesday, January 29, only twelve senators voted to keep Waititu in power.
Despite putting up a spirited fight in the two-day process that saw Waititu zigzag from asking senators to ‘have mercy’ and threatening them of meeting a similar fate if they were biased against him and ended up governors and him senator in the future, Waititu was not able to convince the house to spare him.
The voting, that was indicatively split on the Kieleweke-Tangatanga divide, was preceded by a heated debate with Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen urging the house to spare Waititu and Siaya Senator James Orengo appearing to question the legality of the process.
The final vote saw a surprise decision by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, who has been a vocal member of the opposition, to support Waititu against the overwhelming stand to oust him by his formerly National Super Alliance (Nasa) colleagues.
In a list from the Senate as published by The Standard on Thursday, January 29, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Mithika Linturi (Meru), Moses Wetangula (Bungoma), Susan Kihika (Nakuru) and Lamu’s Anwar Loitiptip voted to retain Waititu at the helm of Kiambu County.
Others in the list were John Kinyua (Laikipia), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Hargura Godana (Marsabit), Christopher Langat (Bomet), Millicent Omanga (Nominated) and Mary Seneta (Nominated).
In the process, leaders from the Mt Kenya region voted against the governor with only three senators voting to keep him in office including Susan Kihika, Mithika Linturi, and Laikipia’s John Kinyua.
The Senate records also indicated that five senators abstained from the vote to remove Waititu including Beth Mugo (Nominated), Isaac Mwaura (Nominated), Abshiro Halake (Nominated), Rose Nyamunga (Nominated) and Gertrude Musuruve (Nominated).
According to Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, the impeachment against Waititu was inevitable and served as a lesson to other governors on the misuse of public funds.
“The consequences of an impeachment is not to punish the office but an individual,” wrote Ledama on Twitter.
Waititu’s charges before the Senate encompassed gross misconduct, abuse of office and engaging in corruption in at the helm of Kiambu County.
For the charge of gross misconduct senators in support of Waititu’s impeachment held the numbers with 27 senators against 10.
For the second charge of abuse of office, 28 senators voted against Waititu while 11 senators voted for him.
This was replicated in the third charge of engaging in corruption at the county.