Senate forms 11-member committee to probe Kawira Mwangaza’s ouster
The Senate has resolved to constitute an 11-member committee to probe the grounds for the impeachment of Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza.
The select committee includes legislators from across the political divide and is expected to present a report before the house in the next 10 days.
"The senate resolves to establish a special committee comprising of 11 senators to investigate the proposed removal from office of the governor of Meru county and report to the senate within 10 days," Speaker Amason Kingi stated during the Senate's Tuesday special sitting.
Kingi's statement came after Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, backed by Minority Leader Stewart Maadzayo, moved an impeachment motion for an 11-member committee to probe Mwangaza's ouster.
The 11-member special committee includes;
- Senator (Dr.) Boni Khalwale (Kakamega),
- Senator Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu),
- Senator Karungo Thangwa (Kiambu),
- Senator Esther Okenyuri (nominated),
- Senator Roba Ali Ibrahim (Mandera);
- Senator Peris Tobiko (nominated),
- Senator Eddy Gicheru Oketch (Migori),
- Senator Joseph Githuku Kamau (Lamu),
- Senator Edwin Sifuna (Nairobi),
- Senator Agnes Kavindu (Machakos), and
- Senator Johnes Mwaruma (Taita Taveta)
The committee is tasked with probing the grounds of the county head's ouster and establishing if the accusations leveled against Mwangaza are behooving an impeachment.
Legal representatives of the Governor and the 69 MCAs will appear before the committee, to argue their case. The teams will also avail witnesses to bolster their respective cases.
Kawira Mwangaza impeached
On Wednesday, December 14, Kawira Mwangaza became the first county boss to be impeached barely three months after being sworn in.
All 67 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) present during the impeachment session voted to remove her over abuse of office claims.
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 in 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.
The county boss 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 the 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".