The matter seems to be tricky for President Ruto who is torn between supporting Kiraitu who defected from Azimio to Kenya Kwanza or supporting Mwangaza. Some forces close to Ruto have been overheard whispering that Kiraitu is a Jonnie come lately who only joined them after he lost in the elections
Following the impeachment of Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and with her fate now in the hands of the 47 elected Senators, political players across the political divide have started scheming in earnest. With all indications that the Senate is most likely to uphold the decision of the Meru County Assembly to impeach their governor, the looming by-election is expected to produce political fireworks.
A political re-match between the immediate former governor Kiraitu Murungi and the county’s first governor Peter Munya is looming. In the last elections, Munya did not contest having been promised a CS slot in Raila Odinga’s government; Kiraitu was Azimio’s flag bearer.
With Kiraitu now in Kenya Kwanza Coalition, he is most likely to be endorsed by Kenya Kwanza while Azimio could clear Munya to reclaim the seat he lost to Kiraitu in 2017. The battleground will now shift from the County Assembly to the Senate which will take a vote to either uphold or overturn the impeachment. In the Senate, Kenya Kwanza has 24 Senators out of 47, Azimio has 22 Senators while one is independent. Analysts now say the fate of governor Kawira now lies in the hands of President William Ruto, the leader of Kenya Kwanza Alliance or Raila Odinga – the leader of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance.
The Meru governor is not a member of either of the two political outfits even though she is aligned with Kenya Kwanza. Kawira won the Meru governor seat as an Independent Candidate after she garnered 209,148 votes to defeat Kenya Kwanza’s Mithika Linturi who came in second place with 183,859 votes while Azimio’s Kiraitu Murungi came in at a distant third with 110,814 votes.
The matter seems to be tricky for president Ruto who is now torn between supporting Kiraitu who defected from Azimio to Kenya Kwanza or supporting Mwangaza. Some forces close to Ruto have been overheard whispering that Kiraitu is a Jonnie come lately who only joined them after he lost in the elections.
In an event that Ruto decides to save Kawira’s skin, Kenya Kwanza senators will vote to overturn the impeachment while Azimio is most likely to vote to uphold the impeachment to allow Munya to contest the gubernatorial seat again.
What is worrying Mwangaza Kawira more, keen political observers say, is why President Ruto failed to whip the MCAs to abandon the impeachment against her, he had pledged to support her. The MCA’s timing was crucial as they passed the motion overwhelmingly while the president was away in Washington D.C for the U.S.-Africa Summit.
Earlier, Ruto had called on Meru leaders to unite and rally behind Kawira, with Ruto pledging to support her all through. As things stand now, neither Kenya Kwanza nor Azimio has publicly indicated that they would support the governor’s impeachment in the Senate but Azimio is said to have vowed to rally their senators to kick her out.