A last-minute attempt by Governor Lee Kinyanjui to save his Roads Executive Committee Member Lucy Kariuki from being impeached flopped after representatives voted to oust her from the cabinet over allegations of gross misconduct.
Less than 24 hours after Governor Kinyanjui did a mini-reshuffle to his cabinet, transferring the embattled Kariuki from the Roads and Infrastructure docket to the department of Youth, Gender, Culture and Social Services; the Members of the County Assembly voted 49 against 21 to kick her out of government.
Before the voting, Assembly Speaker Joel Kairu informed members that the house he was yet to receive official communication from the executive concerning the reshuffle.
“We don’t need to belabour on the point, at no time has the assembly been issued with an official communication on that matter. This house does not act on rumours," Kairu ruled when Lakeview Ward Representative Karanja Mburu rose on a point of order to inquire if the house was aware of the reshuffle which had a direct impact on the motion.
In the reshuffle, Kinyanjui appointed his deputy Erick Korir as the acting County Executive in charge of Roads and moved Eng. Kariuki to head the Youth and Gender Department.
Although in his press release, the governor said the changes were meant to improve service delivery, it was evident that it had something to do with the impending impeachment.
The ward reps unanimously adopted the report of the special committee that was formed to investigate Kariuki.
“Pursuant to standing orders if a resolution is supported by a majority of the house, the speaker shall deliver the resolution for further action,” said the speaker.
After passing the motion the ad-hoc committee chairman Peter Kajwang told the media that the decision by the Governor to move the CEC to head another docket was misinformed.
Kajwang, who represents Kaptembwo Ward said the motion as presented cited the CECM's incompetence, abuse of office and gross misconduct.
“Having been transferred as we have heard stands to be inconsequential, any of the pillars the impeachment was built on sends her home and not to head another docket,” Kajwang said.
Peter Palang’a, who is the Minority Leader in the assembly, said by impeaching the CECM members had made their decision and expect the governor to act on their decision.
Flamingo Ward MCA Eddy Kiragu on his part said they were not impeaching an office but not the CECM, and that the transfer by the Governor meant the transfer of incompetence from one docket to another.
Peter Njoroge who opposed the removal of the CECM said the reshuffle did not mean that CECM, having been moved to another docket, could not perform. He said the minister had only three years and it will be good if she serves in the docket with lighter duties as the infrastructure one was complex.
Lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich said the impeachment is in order and will not be affected by the reshuffle.
“The impeachment against the CEC is proper. She remains a CEC despite the reshuffle. The mischief by the Governor has failed,” Kipkoech said.