Hundreds of mostly female protesters marched in Meru Town, Meru County on Monday to protest against a group of goons hired by Governor Kiraitu Murungi to criticize Meru County MP Bishop Hon. Kawira Mwangaza.
The 500-strong crowd accused Governor Kiraitu Murungi of repeated failures, misappropriating county funds and neglecting the county’s health sector.
The governor was accused of running the affairs of the county like his private business, claiming he has been on an overdrive to amass wealth as he dissipates the county’s proceeds.
The protesters, embarked on a mission to hold a peaceful protest in response to a group of goons hired to criticize the track record of development directed at Kawira Mwangaza.
“In comparison to Meru County MP Kawira Mwangaza, there is nothing that the current Governor Kiraitu Murungi has done in the Mashinani that will be remembered. Despite the fact that her office is only given a small budget from the national government, her track record of development has even touched President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said a protestant.
The group said many development projects in the county had stalled despite funds having been remitted.
Recently, Kiraitu Murungi was put on the spot after it emerged that Meru County was red-flagged in a report on the use of COVID-19 funds for misappropriating over Ksh 30 million meant to combat the pandemic.
Kiraitu Murungi’s administration was further accused of not making any efforts to ensure that the referral hospital in Meru had medication, as the facility was running short of drugs.
In breach of procurement rules, the county spent over Ksh. 10 million without conducting a business survey.
The building of the Egoji Isolation Centre, a contract worth more than Ksh. 20 million, was divided among seven separate firms by the county. The Public Procurement and Disposal Act was violated in this case.
Meru County is also accused of unlawfully breaching contracts and giving them to different companies. According to the auditor general, Meru County went into the market blindly in order to purchase COVID-19 items.
The protesters told BaiteTv that they are dissatisfied with Kiraitu Murungi’s misappropriation of funds and inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic, which included failing to introduce public health initiatives that could have stopped the disease’s spread.
“Bishop Hon Kawira Mwangaza has been insulted by Governor Kiraitu Murungi for speaking the truth. We have officially declared as the women of Meru County that we will not re-elect Governor Kiraitu Murngi in the upcoming general elections in 2022,” said another female protestant.
Among the women who held peaceful protests were those who had benefited from self-help groups funded by NGAAF patron Bishop Hon Kawira Mwangaza.
“The goons hired by governor Kiraitu Murungi to criticize Kawira Mwangaza by accusing her of poor performance should be ashamed because she is Meru county’s best performing leader. We will make certain that she is elected as the governor of Meru county in the upcoming 2022 general elections,” said another female protestant.
The group claimed Meru County Mp Kawira Mwangaza has removed jiggers from the poor, awarded and distributed bursaries to Meru County students, distributed uniforms, desks, and chairs to schools.
She has also donated water storage tanks to communities, sourced funding for self-help groups, among many other development achievements aimed at uplifting the needy families in Meru County.
“On behalf of the residents of Majengo and Mjini in Meru County, we want to categorically clarify that we were not involved in today’s protests carried out by goons hired by Governor Kiraitu Murungi to criticize Kawira Mwangaza. We are going to Majengo and Mjini to mobilize our own team and hold a peaceful protest in response to the criticism directed at Kawira Mwangaza.
The female protesters said Bishop Hon Kawira Mwangaza is the only woman in Meru County who is advocating for women’s rights and uplifting their lives.
They criticized the move by the police to use tear gas and live bullets on them as they held peaceful protests.
“Kawira Mwangaza has never taken a break while in office. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked tirelessly, particularly in the mashinani. When the COVID-19 hit, Kawira Mwangaza delivered sanitisers, masks, and water storage tanks to schools to ensure the safety of the students,” said another protestant.
Recently, several women self-help groups in Meru county have sent tongues wagging over their latest income-generating project courtesy of NGAAF patron Bishop Hon. Kawira Mwangaza empowerment.
It was rumored that the goons hired by governor Kiraitu Murungi had planned to force their way into the Baite Family Fellowship Church located in Makutano and destroy property but they were dispersed by tear gas fired by police officers.