Kawira Mwangaza could be the fourth governor to be removed from office
Embattled Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza could join the list of governors who have lost their seats after MCAs in the County Assembly on Wednesday evening unanimously voted for her removal from office.
The MCAs have accused Governor Mwangaza of gross misconduct, abuse of office and gross violation of the constitution and county laws. The governor is also facing accusations of forceful entry into the assembly and mobilizing unlawful riots against MCAs, violation of public finance management laws and misconduct relating to the nomination of CECs.
Governor Mwangaza impeachment comes barely 112 days into her term of office. The impeachment motion was backed by signatures of 68 out of 69 MCAs.
Governor Mwangaza’s fate now lies with the Senate, with the Speaker of the Meru County Assembly expected to deliver the resolution on impeachment to the Speaker of the Senate by Friday.
The Senate will form a committee to look into the grounds of impeachment and listen to both the assembly and the governor before voting upholding or overturning the MCAs’ verdict.
If the senate passes the motion, Governor Mwangaza will join Mohamed Abdi Mahmoud (Wajir), Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Mike Sonko (Nairobi) in the list of governor who have been removed from office after being impeached.
Martin Wambora (Embu) was the first Governor in Kenya to be impeached, not once but twice. However, he successfully challenged the impeachment in court and continued serving for the rest of his first term.
Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony was the second Governor to be impeached after Members of County Assembly accused him of gross violation of the Constitution and the Public-Private Partnership Act 2013, violation of the Public Finance Management Act 2013, and violation of the County Governments Act 2012.
However, he survived the impeachment after the Senate Committee investigating the charges cleared him.
Former Kiambu Governor Waititu was not as lucky. He was impeached by MCAs who accused him of violation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, crimes under the national law, and abuse of office/gross misconduct. The Senate, in a plenary session, voted to uphold the impeachment, after they found him guilty of the charges. Waititu became the first governor to lose his seat
Similarly, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru was impeached by the Kirinyaga County Assembly after 23 MCAs voted for her ouster over gross-misconduct and abuse of office.
She, however, survived the impeachment after a verdict by the special Senate Committee said that the allegations facing her were serious but there was no evidence to support claims that she was directly linked to alleged corruption, abuse of office and violation of procurement regulations.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko then lost his seat after he was impeached after 88 out of 122 Members of the Nairobi County Assembly voted to support his ouster.
Sonko was accused of four charges including a gross violation of the Constitution and other laws, abuse of office, violation of national laws, and lacking the mental capacity to run the county government. The Senate, later on, upheld his impeachment after he was found guilty of all the charges.
Then on April 27, 2022 Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahmoud was Impeached by MCAs over allegations of flouting the County Government Act, Public Procurement Act and Asset Disposal Act and the Public Finance.