ODM leader Raila Odinga has denied media reports that he recently held a night meeting with embattled Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
Sunday Nation reported that the former Prime Minister met with Waiguru on the evening of Thursday, June 11, at a fancy club in Karen with the main agenda being to rally his troops in the Senate to dismiss a move by Kirinyaga MCAs to impeach her.
The paper reported that Waiguru arrived for the meeting a few minutes before 7pm and was joined by Raila a few minutes later.
The meeting reportedly lasted for more than two hours, ending shortly past 9 p.m.
The lead story on the paper that has since gone viral eliciting criticism over Odinga’s role in sanitising corrupt individuals at his Capitol Hill office indicated that the duo was joined by Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and his Nyeri counterpart Mutahi Kahiga.
But in a statement on Sunday, Odinga said no such meeting took place and termed the story as false.
“No such meeting with Ms. Waiguru or the other governors, James Nyoro of Kiambu and Mutahi Kahiga of Nyeri took place as reported in the Sunday Nation. I also wish to make it clear that there does not exist any Senate Committee to investigate governor Waiguru and whose members from ODM I have instructed to save the governor as reported in the Nation Sunday,” said Raila.
Odinga, however, noted that on the said date and time he had a meeting with Laikipia Women Representative Catherine Waruguru in the company of some members of Parliament.
“The meeting had nothing to do with the tribulations of governor Waiguru. The matters around governor Waiguru and which the Sunday Nation purports to be analyzing and reporting on are critical with regard to strengthening Devolution and governance in Kenya. They require objective and deep reporting, based on verifiable facts, which is hard work, and not a collection of rumours and trivia from anonymous sources, which is the epitome of lazy journalism, ” added Odinga.
“There can be no reason whatsoever why politicians attending a meeting of the kind described by the Sunday Nation would be unwilling to talk about. I routinely update the country on any such meetings and this would not be different if it had happened. The Sunday Nation owes the country and the whole infrastructure of Devolution clarity on this matter.”
I am deeply concerned about the false story published in the Sunday Nation today. pic.twitter.com/fBw1OTVkch
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) June 14, 2020
Odinga was once Waiguru’s fiercest critic when she was named in the multimillion National Youth Service (NYS) Scandal then serving as Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning during Jubilee’s first term in office. She resigned in 2015, joined politics and was elected Governor in 2017.
They have since united and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pet project, Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), brought them even closer.
The latest come at a time a section of Jubilee leaders in the Tanga Tanga camp alleges a plot by Odinga and Uhuru to use pro-handshake and BBI Senators to save Waiguru.
23 MCAs voted last Tuesday to impeach Waiguru on grounds of gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct. Four abstained. Six members were absent from the session.
She was dealt a blow on Thursday after the High Court declined to annul a decision by the Kirinyaga ward representatives to impeach her,
Justice Weldon Korir said the MCAs acted within their mandate, and that stopping the Senate from handling the complaint would be interfering with its functions.