Kakamega Ward reps push for impeachment of sports executive


Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa with Mophat Mandela, the County Executive Committee Member (Cecm) in charge of Youth and Sports at Bukhungu stadium at a past function. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

A section of Members of the Kakamega County Assembly (MCAs) is pushing for the sacking of the County Executive Committee Member (Cecm) in charge of Sports, Youth, Gender and Culture Mophat Mandela.

So far, 45 MCAs drawn from across the political divide led by Chekalini ward rep Titus Kwoma have appended their signatures in a bid to have Mr Mandela ejected from office through an impeachment motion.

The grounds for the official's removal include abuse of office, gross misconduct, 'incompetence' and gross violation of the constitution according to the MCAs.

"Mr Mandela has used his powers to hire people for Kazi Mashinani who never applied for the job. They have found themselves on the final list at the expense of genuine deserving applicants," said Kwoma in his petition.

The petition further reads: "He has further directed the recruits to work for one year again contravening the Kakamega Women and Youths Empowerment Act 2018 and directed the same people to start working without any formal contract and appointment letters."

Mr Kwoma has also accused Mandela of 'not having respect for the MCAs and County staff' by dealing with them in a manner that does not depict the conduct of a public officer.

"He has on many occasions abused MCAs, fellow Cecms, chief officers and even had a physical fight with an honorable member in the presence of the Deputy Governor Ayub Savula, thereby demeaning the stature of the office he holds," states Kwoma in his motion.

The Chekalini ward rep is also accusing the official of having a 'toxic relationship' with his junior staff thereby affecting service delivery.

"Mr Mandela has contravened section 59 of the County Governments Act 2012 by employing people as secretariat, Kazi Mashinani coordinators and recently advertised vacancies for 210 county marshals," the motion reads in part.

It continues: "Mr Mandela has assumed the powers he does not wield since the establishment of offices is done by the county public service board. Recruitment of staff is a preserve of the County Public Service Board."

He accused him of employing former ward rep Lazarus Lucheveleli as coordinator of Malava sub-county.

According to the ward rep, Mr Mandela is yet to fully roll out the Kazi Mashinani program despite budgetary allocations for the same and those who have started working do not have uniforms, working equipment and protective gear.

"We have a water-tight case against him and have already hit the minimum threshold of filing an impeachment, 45 MCAs have appended their signatures in support of the motion," said Kwoma in an interview

He went on: "The minister said that he is more schooled than me and will just buy me. I want to see how much money he will come with to bribe me and then see how far the impeachment motion will go. I will lay bare the facts on how he has embezzled funds through dubious programmes,"

Philip Maina, the County Assembly Majority Leader confirmed that indeed the petition to remove Mandela from office has been filed and it will be tabled on Wednesday next week.

"The motion has precedence and we will allow it on the floor of the house. If it meets the threshold, the speaker will give it to House Business Committee that will form an ad hoc committee of 5 people to investigate the claims," said Mr Maina.

He said the committee will then make recommendations and bring it back to the assembly for adoption.

But in a rejoinder, Mr Mandela told The Standard on the phone that 'he is not aware' an impeachment motion to remove him from office has been filed.

"The impeachment motion has not reached me and I cannot talk about it as I am not aware of its contents," said Mandela, adding that 'I even don't know the allegations that have been leveled against me."

Mandela said that if indeed' there is an impeachment motion against him, once served, he will present himself to his 'accusers' and defend himself.