Let governors, ward reps work together
The impeachment attempt against Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo, and the ongoing altercation between Meru County Chief Kawira Mwangaza and MCAs, highlight the need for the leaders to find ways of working together to ensure they benefit the electorate.
It is ironic that when politicians are campaigning for various seats, they usually present a unified front but once they get to office, they almost always fall out. The result is that development, especially at the local level, stalls and projects that could otherwise have benefitted the public end up either not taking off at all or are delayed due to the wrangles.
Only this week, when they held their annual meeting, governors made a case for a law change to make it harder for ward reps to impeach them. As it is now, a deputy governor who disagrees with the boss can engineer a coup against the governor just by lobbying MCAs. This, clearly, is not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they put that clause in the supreme law.
There is, therefore, need to ensure MCAs do not abuse the legal provisions for political or selfish ends. Instead, they should appreciate that impeachment is a solemn process and measure of last resort against abuse of office, corruption or any other reason that makes it impossible for governors to discharge their responsibilities as enshrined in law.
Whereas it is the job of MCAs to put governors to account, they should also appreciate the long-term implications of removing an elected leader from office and what this means for democracy. Impeachment, in short, should not be used as tool of first resort, especially if the grounds for such a far-reaching decision are not strong enough. As such, MCAs should desist from using impeachment as a threat against a governor even over political differences.
This is not to say they should shy away whenever they feel an impeachment is warranted. Rather, they should raise the threshold even before a motion is tabled in the Assembly so that they can set precedents that can serve as future reference points.
The point is to ensure impeachments are not used for frivolous reasons or become tools for intimidating governors into doing the bidding of MCAs.