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Governor Waititu Intervenes to Save Embattled Minister

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu on November 28, moved to stop Kiambu County Assembly from ousting Sports CEC Karungo Thang’wa, who for long has been seen as his close ally.

In a letter seen by Kenyans.co.ke, Waititu claimed that the motion moved by the assembly to remove Karungo from office on November 19 stands null and void, stating it was conducted against a court order.

“I wish to inform you that I have been served with an order of the Employment and Labour Relations Court at Nairobi Petition No. 208 of 2019 dated 8th November 2019, which stayed all proceedings relating to the removal of the CEC from office pending the determination of the case,” read the letter.

Kiambu sports CEC Karungo Thang'wa, speaker Stephen Ndichu and Deputy President William Ruto
Kiambu Sports CEC Karungo Thang’wa (left), Speaker Stephen Ndichu (centre) and Deputy President William Ruto

“That order stayed all proceedings and debates by the assembly on the proposed removal and even my action as Governor removing the CEC,” added Waititu.

The county chief reiterated that Karungo was still the CEC in charge of the Sports docket despite the assembly’s motion.

“I will not dismiss the CEC from office as that would further contravene the court order and would amount to contempt of court on my part which is a criminal offence,” read the letter.

“The CEC, therefore, remains lawfully in the office to discharge his mandate,” he affirmed.

The action to block Karungo’s removal further extends the rift between Governor Waititu and his deputy, James Nyoro, who has been on the frontline rejecting Waititu’s return to the corner office.

In October 2019, Nyoro was accused of interfering with the workings of Transport, Public Works and Energy CEC Juliet Kimemia and her Finance counterpart Kigo Njenga, by issuing orders to withdraw their official vehicles, a move that he later corrected.

The county assembly of Kiambu moved a motion to remove Karungo from office on grounds of misappropriation of funds.
Kiambu County Assembly moved a motion to remove Sports CEC Karungo Thang’wa from office on grounds of misappropriation of funds.

On November 22, the deputy governor vowed to resign from his position if Governor Waititu happens to resume his official duties, claiming they could no longer work together. 

“If in any way Waititu and his team get back to the office, I promise to resign from my position. I cannot work with him again in running the county,” remarked Nyoro.

On July 30, the High Court through Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi granted  Waititu Ksh15 million cash bail but imposed tough conditions on the fiery politician and his co-accused, among them being barred from accessing his office.

The magistrate also ordered all accused persons to deposit their travel documents in court, and directed the immigration department to confirm that some of the accused do not hold passports as they had claimed.

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