Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza impeached
The embattled Meru County Governor Kawira Mwangaza has become the first county boss to be impeached barely three months after being sworn in.
All 67 Members of County Assembly (MCAs) present during the impeachment session voted to remove her over abuse of office claims.
Bishop Kawira made history in the August 9 general election when she floored two political giants, the then Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and then Senator Mithika Linturi.
In the race, Linturi became second after attaining 183,858 votes, while Kiraitu managed 814 votes.
Kawira garnered 209,148 votes to secure the seat.
However, her dream of making "Meru happy" has been cut short after the impeachment motion against her sailed through the Meru County Assembly.
She had been saved by the Meru High Court after the impeachment motion introduced by DMK Kiogora Abogeta West MCA was squashed by judge Justice Thrispsia Cherere saying the process was flawed.
Terming it unconstitutional, Cherere further said the procedure used by the Assembly members to process the proposed motion of impeachment was flawed adding that the petitioner is not supposed to suffer illegality of her rights resulting to injustice.
“The laid down procedure should be duly followed failure to which the motion becomes flawed because a party such as a petitioner is not supposed to suffer illegality or breach of her rights and resultant to injustice and violation of her rights and solace that her grievance would be remedied by either the assembly or by the Senate,” the judge said.
However, today the county boss who failed to appear in the Assembly was ousted after 66 MCAs voted for her ouster accusing her of being a dictator.
Before the motion could kick-off, the governor had threatened to sue Speaker Ayub Bundi and the Assembly if it proceeded with they impeachment motion.
The 49-year-old ousted governor, who is married to a local musician Murega Baichu, was expected to appear personally or through her lawyers before the assembly on Wednesday morning to counter the impeachment motion but failed.
In a letter addressed to Speaker Ayub, the governor's lawyer Mutuma said the Assembly standing orders prohibit the MCAs from dealing with any matter that is before the court.
"Proceeding with the same shall be deemed as contempt of court which shall attract the appropriate legal action against any contemnors who shall be held personally liable," the lawyer stated.
However, the MCAs who were dressed in black trousers, white shirts, and red ties earlier in the morning broke into dances and songs as a few sections of Kawira's supporters gathered outside the assembly premises singing pro-Kawira songs "Governor ni Mama".
As the proceedings continued, heavily armed security personnel were deployed inside and outside the Assembly.
Case against Kawira
The 68 members who had signed the fresh impeachment motion cited nepotism, illegal appointments, unlawful dismissals, insubordination, and statutory functions of county organ, contempt of court and illegal dismissals, and incitement, bullying, vilification, and misleading campaigns against other leaders as the reasons for her ouster.
Other grounds were forceful entry into the Assembly precincts and mobilisation of unlawful riots against members of the Assembly, violation of public finance management law, and misconduct relating to the nomination of County Executive Committee (CEC) members.
The governor is also accused of disregarding the criteria for the establishment of offices within the county public service including failing to submit her husband’s name for approval by the Assembly before appointing him.
In the motion, they accused Kawira of incitement, bullying, and holding public vilification, incitement, and humiliation rallies against members of the Assembly and other elected leaders falsely.
The standoff between the governor and the MCAs has been escalating day by day with both parties engaging in war of words.
Even after Kawira apologised 70 times to the county Assembly members and called President William Ruto to intervene, the MCAs went ahead to impeach her saying it was the "best Christmas gift for the governor".
Kawira has been publically faulting the MCAs, calling them greedy and corrupt.
"Tell those foxes that I am not afraid of them and their impeachment. I am here to stay, today, tomorrow, next year, and 10 years to come until I deliver to the people of Meru," Kawira said recently in Nkubu.