Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru on Saturday, February 15, accused Interior PS Karanja Kibicho of trying to interfere with her government's operations, one day after Kibicho visited the county, opening a can of worms over contested land.
The county was to give KEMRI land for the construction of a level five hospital, university, a medical supplies factory and a medical research centre at Wamumu area in Mwea, all valued at Ksh15 billion.
Through a Facebook post, Waiguru hit back on Kibicho for his utterances, accusing him of going above his personal roles to accuse her of an issue based on false claims.
“Is PS Kibicho now superior to the president? What is his personal interest in the matter?
"If PS Karanja Kibicho wants to engage in village politics and insults he can resign and join others in early campaigning. In the meantime, can he concentrate on the difficult task of ensuring internal security including in the turbulent parts of the country,” wrote Waiguru.
She also indicated that the issue had been addressed and the president was fully aware of the situation.
“On KEMRI, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta required an MOU to be signed so that the interests of Kirinyaga people, who I was elected to represent, are taken into account," wrote Waiguru.
The governor further indicated that all facilitation for the construction of the KEMRI facilities was ongoing and the county was in the frontline to ensure that everything flows as expected.
Waiguru also stated that the memorandum of understanding had put into consideration all factors that would necessitate the full benefits to the county residents.
“On our part as the county, we have signed the KEMRI MoU and forwarded it to them for their execution. We remain committed to looking out for the interests of Kirinyaga people.
“Am sure asking 30% of manual and non-technical jobs for Kirinyaga residents is not too much to ask. It’s been done elsewhere, why not Kirinyaga?” wondered Waiguru.
During a development tour of Kirinyaga County on Friday, February 14, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho reportedly locked out Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri and County Secretary Joe Muriuki from a meeting he chaired, in which he met national government officials at a social hall in Mwea.
According to K24 Digital, Ndambiri’s attempts to be enjoined in the meeting were futile and locked out for two hours before it ended.
The PS also refused to brief Ndambiri and his team on what they had deliberated on.
A disappointed Ndambiri told K24 Digital that Kibicho and his team were operating “arrogantly” in Kirinyaga without involving the county leadership.
“The national and county governments should work harmoniously with each other, and not engage in power struggles that end up hurting the mwananchi,” remarked Ndambiri.
While in Kirinyaga on Friday, February 14, Kibicho claimed that Waiguru was out to sabotage a project by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) by failing to facilitate the transfer of a 100-acre piece of land for the project.
“The governor’s decision to sabotage the project is sheer stupidity that should not be allowed to continue. I am shocked that your governor is opposed to the KEMRI project, which will go a long way in boosting the economy of Kirinyaga County.
“It is stupid and foolish of one to oppose such a viable project that, upon completion, will be very important to the people of the county that she leads,” remarked Kibicho.
KEMRI intended to build a Level Five hospital, university, a medical supplies factory and a medical research centre at Wamumu area in Mwea, all valued at Ksh15 billion.