Governors plot to tackle rogue MCAs as Waiguru retains post

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 10:30 | By
CoG chairperson Anne Waiguru
CoG chairperson Anne Waiguru. PHOTO/Print

The Council of Governors (CoG) now wants the threshold for impeaching governors raised to save them from rogue Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).

This even as the Council unanimously agreed to retain Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru as the CoG chair alongside her deputy, Wajir governor Ahmed Abdullahi (Wajir) and chief whip, Nandi governor Stephen Sang for another one year term.

Speaking after being re-elected unanimously, Waiguru charged that the process of removing governors is not as difficult as kicking MPs or MCAs out of office, noting that the same standards threshold should apply across the board.

“We are extremely concerned that when you compare the process of removing an MP for example from office or a senator or a member of the County Assembly with that of removing a governor, you find that there is a very huge difference,” said Waiguru.

According to Waiguru, the procedure of removing an MP is quite elaborate and tedious as well as time bound.

 “You are told that you cannot start removal of a member of parliament within the first two years from the date of the election. Then you cannot attempt to remove a member of parliament a year before elections.”

Addressing the press after the meeting, Waiguru said in order to achieve the threshold of impeachment, governors will table their memorandum to the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) to consider their proposal of tightening the impeachment process.

Impeachment threats

Already, three governors Kawira Mwangaza (Meru), Amos Nyaribo (Nyamira) nd Kimani Wamatangi are facing threats of impeachments from their respective county assemblies with Nyamira MCAs having already tabled a notice of motion to kick out their county chief. Section 33 (1) of the County Governments Act, 2012 empowers a member of the county Assembly to initiate a motion for the removal of a Governor from office. Article 181 (1) states that a county governor may be removed from office on gross violation of the Constitution or any other law and where there are serious reasons for believing that the county governor has committed a crime under national or international law.

Gross misconduct

The Constitution also provides that the governor may be removed from office on grounds of abuse of office or gross misconduct or physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of the office of county governor.

 “We do not have those provisions for county governors. If you look at the procedures for their removal, you require signatures from about 30 percent of the people who voted for them. The registered number of voters in those constituencies or counties,” said Waiguru.

She went on: “What we are saying is that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. We do not want a situation where county governors are treated in a lesser manner than MPs and MCAs. The only thing we are asking is that the same provision that you have provided for the National Assembly, kindly do the same for governors. We think this will go a long way in addressing the perennial impeachment process.” In her address, Waiguru who is now serving her last term as CoG Chair said that the elections were through consensus.

“As it has been our tradition, the Council’s elections are undertaken through consensus, and we have unanimously agreed on the leadership that will steer the Council for the next year,” said Waiguru.

In the elections, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja did not defend his chairmanship of the Human Resource Committee, paving the way for Nyeri’s Mutahi Kahiga. Sakaja explained on social media that he opted not to defend his seat in order to dedicate his time on serving Nairobians.

Machakos governor Wavinya Ndeti and Dhadho Godana (Tana River) were replaced as chairpersons of Trade and Industry and Security chairpersons respectively.

Instead, Governor Susan Kihika (Nakuru) was elected Trade and Industry chair and Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo) was elected to chair of Security and Foreign Affairs.

Sources told People Daily that Ndeti protested her removal from the Trade and Industry docket saying that the seat belonged to Azimio and therefore her replacement should have been by a member from Azimio’s side. “This seat was for Azimio. Why are you removing me from the seat?” she posed while banging the table.

 Those who retained their seats are Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi)-Health, Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma)-Agriculture, Nathif Jama (Garissa County)-Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL), Erick Mutai (Kericho) Education and Issa Timamy (Lamu)-Blue Economy respectively. Patrick Ole Ntutu (Narok) County Tourism and Wildlife, Andrew Mwadime (Taita Taveta) - Water, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga)- Environment and Climate Change, Fernandes Barasa, (Kakamega)- Finance and Mutula Kilonzo JR (Makueni)-Legal, Constitutional Affairs also retained their seats.

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