Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr has warned Members of County Assemblies that the Senate will not tolerate unjustifiable impeachment Motions against governors.
In his maiden address to the Makueni County Assembly, Mutula said the Senate has unanimously resolved that impeachment will be as a last resort and will only be applied where there has been gross violation of the Constitution.
He said article 181 of the Constitution states the grounds for removal from office of a Governor as being gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, where there are serious reasons for believing that the governor has committed a crime under national or international law and abuse of office or gross misconduct.
Mutula said most impeachment Motions being brought against governors do not meet this thresholdm and can only be termed as vendetta or MCAs trying to micromanage the executive.
“As one of the committee members investigating the impeachment of Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony, I can, without fear of contradiction say the accusations levelled against him do not warrant an impeachment. Our MCAs must realise that the threshold for such an action is very high and they must not apply for just any offence,” he said.
Mutula said though the Kericho governor may not have been totally free of blame having signed some partnership deals unprocedurally, and hired redundant employees, best practice would have been to cancel the deals and fire the excess staff, not move to impeach the governor.
The senator urged the MCAs to allow governors perform their executive functions without attempting to micro-manage or take over their powers.
The senator also termed as unconstitutional, a move by MCAs to create a Ward Development Fund under their patronage, saying this will create conflict of interest.
“MCAs cannot purport to want every thing to themselves by wearing two hats. They must choose either to stick to their legislative functions or quit and seek executive positions where they can carry out implementation duties,” he said.
Citing the example of Makueni, Mutula said county assemblies have so far done poorly in terms of legislation.
“I have drafted and recommended 26 Bills mostly touching on water harvesting, sand regulation, education and protection of our forests. Out of these, none has been legislated yet they have capacity to transform our county if passed into law,” he said.
Also addressing the county assembly, governor Kivutha Kibwana said the only way to ensure development in counties is by governors staying clear off political party politics and concentrating on development party politics.
“We as governors were elected on different political parties. If we accept to be drawn into party line politics we shall be weakening the Council of Governors that has been instrumental in advocating for full devolution of power and resources,” said Prof Kibwana.
He said governors will only be safe from possible impeachment if they adhere to the Constitution and follow procurement procedures.
Kibwana said as breach of these procedures has been the one ground used against governors.