Kisii MCAs battle external influence claims amidst third ouster motion

Masimba Ward MCA Bouse Mairura. [File, Standard]

Kisii MCAs are fighting off claims of being loyal to external forces following the tabling of a third impeachment motion against a top county official. The Assembly is currently split into two factions, one allied to the area Governor Simba Arati and the other led by the Assembly Minority Whip Bouse Mairura who has been a sharp critic of the county boss.

Mairura and his team of more than 18 MCAs have been accusing the governor of infiltration into the affairs of the Assembly.

Late last year, Mairura faction wrote to the Controller of Budget (CoB) accusing the executive of altering the supplementary budget. The Controller of Budget later responded to the executive seeking answers to the alleged alteration of the budget that had been passed in the Assembly.

The county government could have then delayed the disbursement of funds from the National Treasury over the delayed budget implementation. This affected the issuance of bursaries that would follow three months later.

The Controller of Budget Dr Margaret Nyakango had suspended the implementation of the supplementary budget for the financial year 2023/24 over claims of alterations of the budget estimates.

Dr Nyakango, in minutes she signed on March 26, 2024, had pointed out that a complaint letter from a section of Kisii MCAs and the budget estimates presented to her office were different.

The minutes originating from a meeting between the county and the CoB indicated that there were deliberate attempts to mislead the Controller of Budget to approve requests for withdrawing funds based on falsified or misleading documents.

However, despite investigations by CoB showing alterations to the document, Arati alleged that the 15 MCAs who wrote the complainant were behind the delay in the release of funds.

The split among the MCAs began eight months after Arati assumed office when MCAs impeached the County Public Service Board, accusing the five-member board of gross violation of the Constitution, including poor human resource practices and participating in illegal job promotions.

The MCAs further accused the board of having employed excess staff. The board members later appeared before an Assembly Committee which recommended their sacking.

Less than a year later, 53 members could vote to impeach Deputy Governor Dr Robert Monda in a motion moved by Ichuni Ward Rep Wycliffe Siocha. 

Through his motion, the MCAs had accused the Deputy Governor of gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct and committing crimes under national law.

Monda could later face the Senate becoming the first Deputy Governor ever to be impeached.

The embattled Deputy Governor moved to court and successfully obtained orders on the status quo.

On Wednesday last week, the Assembly was back again instituting an impeachment motion against the County Executive in charge of Administration Dr Alfred Ndemo citing bullying of employees and skewed hiring, alleging favouritism of female candidates.

The motion's mover, Bogeka Ward MCA Richard Manani cited gross misconduct. He accused the official of misrepresenting Governor Arati by forging official documents.