SECTIONS

Meru resident files petition to impeach Governor Kawira Mwangaza

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The political battle pitting Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and Members of the County Assembly took a new twist yesterday after a resident drew up an impeachment petition against her.

Salesio Thuranira, not a new face in the corridors of justice at the Meru Law courts, has laid grounds upon which he wants the MCAs to impeach the governor.

Thuranira in his petition argued Kawira went against the law and claimed some of her appointments had not been subjected to a competitive process and not received the nod of MCAs.

He also claimed the governor’s husband, Mr Murega Baichu, had been sent to a stakeholders’ function yet he was not a state officer and thus not allowed to transact any business on behalf of the government.

When she named nominees to her cabinet recently, the governor appointed her husband the patron of Meru Youth Service and “Hustlers Ambassador” but added that he would not be receiving any salary or allowances.

''He will be a volunteer and will not receive even a coin,'' Kawira had said.

Thuranira said Kawira violated the law when she appointed Mr Rufus Miriti as the County Secretary and did not forward his name to the Assembly for vetting like other of her appointees.

Mr Miriti served in the same capacity in former governor Kiraitu Murungi’s government.

Kawira had in retaining Miriti said she was not vengeful and it was the reason she was ready to work with whoever qualified, irrespective of their political affiliation.

Thuranira also accused the governor of “storming” the Assembly on October 19 when she went to deliver the aborted address to MCAs who had walked out the moment she rose to speak, among other grounds.

The MCAs have been on Kawira’s neck, saying there was no working relationship and accusing her of not engaging them, yet they had development plans for their electorate.

But governor Kawira said the truth will prevail as she defended herself against the MCAs ''who are against her'', accusing them of demanding Ward Development funds against the law.

In a letter dated October 27 to the Controller of Budget Dr Margaret Nyakango referenced “Advisory Opinion on demands for MCA- administered Ward Funds by Hon MCAs”, she says a raging controversy had come up pitting her against the ward reps on the allocation of funds to the 45 wards, to be administered by MCAs.

“These demands have been made to me personally during various meetings I have had with MCAs and their leadership, as well as publicly through the media,” she wrote, adding that she felt MCAs administering the funds would be unconstitutional.

“In addition, this arrangement is likely to undermine and compromise the separation of powers between the executive and legislature at the county level,” she added.

She said in her opinion MCAs should include the projects they wanted in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), a document residents contributed to during public participation forums.

“In view of the above and in order to get the correct legal and administrative position on this matter, I am seeking your advisory opinion on whether MCAs can legally be allocated funds to be administered by themselves at the ward level,” she wrote.

Yesterday, Speaker Ayub Bundi did not respond to queries on whether they had received the petition, though stamped copy circulated on social media. However, The Standard could not authenticate whether the stamp on the petition was that of the county assembly.On the petition for impeachment, the governor said: “I am ready but the truth will prevail.”