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Senate hearing on impeachment of Kawira begins

 Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza. [Phare Mutembei, Standard]

A team from the Meru County assembly is today expected to arrive at parliament buildings for the impeachment of Meru Governor Kawira Mwanganza.

Senators who are currently on recess until February 14, 2023, were summoned last week for a special session in response to Mwangaza's impeachment.

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi on Friday gazetted a Special Sitting of the House after receiving resolutions of the Meru County assembly to remove the governor from office through impeachment.

The assembly entourage, led by Minority Whip Dennis Kiogora, the mover of the impeachment motion, will be led by Lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu.

The governor's team, on the other hand, will be led by lawyer Elius Mutuma. She is facing three charges for her removal as governor, which was supported by at least 67 MCAs.

She is accused of alleged gross misconduct, abuse of office and gross violation of the constitution and county laws.

Trial kick-off

During this morning's sittings, the trial will begin with the speaker's (Kingi) communication about the trial, where the charges and specifics levelled against her will be read aloud during an open session.

Then the county assembly through its legal team will be given an opportunity to present its case on the floor of the house.

Later the governor and her team will also be given time to respond to the allegations giving her the right to a fair hearing.

Thereafter, the senators will have a deliberation session to know if they will vote on the impeachment or whether they will opt for a house plenary to handle Mwangaza's case or move a motion to propose a select committee to consider the ouster.

Should the house settle on the committee route, then it will form an 11-member committee which will have 10 days from today to hear the matter and make its recommendations to the House.

"If the special committee reports that the particulars of any allegation against the governor have not been substantiated, further proceedings shall not be taken in respect of that allegation," says Section 33 (6) (a) of the County Governments Act.

However, if the special committee finds that the reasons for the removal of the governor cited by the MCAs are weighty and proven, then the committee can recommend the ejection of the governor.

The entire Senate has to vote to either endorse the recommendation or reject it.

If a majority of the senators vote to uphold the impeachment then the governor ceases to hold office. In that case, Mwangaza will need 24 votes on her side to survive her removal from office.

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